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I^iimitt. — IITctriitbciL — Hlobcnt, 


"Histories make men wise." — Sir Francis Bacon. 

VOL. I. 

IConbon : 


5. if 


MAR 2 4 197? 


7Y OF ^' 

CON T E N T S . 


Karltest Recorps and Relics of the Human Race.— Human Racbs, Roots of TiANonAGES, awd 
MfiDEs OK Life. — States and Forms of Government. — The Religion and Forms of Wor- 
ship OF the Heathen World.— The Sources and Chief Divisions of Hisroaif . . 1 


Book E. P?i'3torij of t!jc (Drfcntal Nations. 

Physical Features of Asia. — The Chinese Empire. — Indian Nations. — Babylonians and 

Assyrians.— Egyptians.— Ph(Enicians.—The People of Israel.— Medes and Persians . 17 

Early Civilization of the Chinese.— Prosperity. — Period of Degeneration. — System of 
Government.— Agriculture Honoured.— Tea Cultivation and Silk Manufacture. — 
Porcelain.— Method of Education. — Confucius the Philosopher, his Teachings and 
Maxims. — Monosyllabic Language of the Chinese 2? 

Ancient Nations of Asia.— The Aryans.— Wanderings of Nations.— The Vedas.— Old Re-. 


— Conquest of the Inhabitants. — Introduction of Caste. — Foundation of Kingdoms. — 
Ancient Songs and Records. — The Mahabharata Epic. — The Ramajana.— The Aryans 
under the Rule of the Brahmins. — Division of the Community into Castes. — Re- 
ligion OF THE Brahmins.— Indian Laws and Government. — Buddha and Buddhism. — 
L.ATER Civilization oi' India 27 

The Country of the Tigris and Euphr.ates.— Shinar.— The Babylonian Kingdom.— Nim- 
ROD, NiNus, and Semiuamis. — Beletaras. — Tiglath Pilesar, Salmanassar, etc. — Sen- 

OF Nineveh. — Grand Ruins of Ancient Babylonian Cities. — Layard's Researches. — 
The Chaldeans. — Successors of Nebuchadnezzar. — Babylonish Worship. — Astronomy. 
— Present Condition of the Babylonian Country 43 

The Nile. — The Secret of its Source. — The Victoria Nyanza and Albert Nyanza Lakes., 
— Valley of the Nile. — Inundations. — Merge and Ammonium. — Division of Egypt. — 
Memnon. — The Pyramids.— Memphis.— The Kings' Graves. — The Pharaohs.— The Citt 
of Thebes.— Thutmosis.— Ethiopian Kings and their Conquksts.— Psammetichus. — 
Nebuchadnezzar at Circesium. — Sais. — The Battle of Pelusium. — Religious System 
OF THE Egyptians 52 

The Phoenicians and their Country. — Manners and Customs. — Ancient Settlements. — 
SiDON AND Tyre, Crete, Rhodes, etc.^-Ancient Commercial and Maritime Import- 
A.NCE. — Colonizing Enterprises. — Foundation of Utica, Carthage, Gades, etc. — Wor- 
ship OF Baal, Moloch, and Astarte. — Melkart, the Phoenician Hercules. — Phcenician 
Science and Art. — History. — Spirited Defence of the Island of Tyrus against Sal- 
manassar THE Assyrian. — Conquest of the Country by Nebuchadnezzar. — Phcenicia a. 
Persian Province. — Tyre Destroyed by Alexander 73 

Origin of the Israelitish Nation. — Abraham and his Descendants. — Israel in Egypt. — 
Moses and Pharaoh. — The Exodus. — The Mosaic Code of Laws. — Division of the 
Country. — The Judges. — Theocratic Monarchy of the Israelites. — Saul and David. — 
Solomon. — The Divided Kingdom and its Destruction. — Arab and Jezebel and their 
Successors. — Athaliah.— Uzziah.— The Assyrian Captivity 80 

The Iranians. — Religion of the Medes and Persians. — The Magi or Priests. — The Zend- 
Avesta AND its Teachings. — Kings of the Medis. — Conquest by the Persians. — Cyrus 
tmk Conqi.kror.— The Capture ok Babylon. — Campaign against the Scythians.— Death 
or Cyrus. — Cambyses. — Customs, Laws, and Government of the Persians.— Summary . 107 


Greece and its Inhabitants. — The Peninsula. — Northern Greece.— Central Greece or 
Hellas. — ArncA. — B(eotia. — Phocis. — Doris. — Locus .^tolia. — Acarnania. — Megaris. — 
The Peloponnesus. — Phliasia. — Laconia. — Messenia. — Elis. — The Greek Islands. — 
The Religion of the Ancient Greeks. — Theogonic Theory. — The Gods of Greece . 127 

The Pelasgi. — The Mythical Heroic Age of the Hellenes. — The Expedition of the 
Argonauts. — The Myth of Perseus. — The Trojan War. — Wanderings of the Dorians. 
— The Greek Colonies in Asia Minor. — On the Hellespont. — In Thrace and Mace- 
donia. — In Sicily, Africa, Spain and Gallia. — The Epic Poetry of the Greeks. — 
Homer, Hesiod, etc 143 

The Manners and Customs of the Hellenes. — Temples and Religious Ceremonies. — The 
Olympic Games. — The Olympian Zeus. — The Earliest Forms of Government in 
Greece. — ^The Spartans. — Lycurgus and his Laws. — The Dorians and their Govern- 
ment. — Division into Classes. — Social Regulations. — Education of the Youth of 
Sp.\rta. — Public Banquets or Andreia. — The Messenian Wars. — Aristomenes. — Supre- 
macy OF the Spartans in the League 163 

Government by Families in Athens. — The Laws of Drakon. — The Alkm.^onids. — Their 
Destruction. — Solon and his Laws. — Phyl«, Phratri^, and Races. — The Archons. — 
The Council of the Areiopagos.— Solon's Travels and Return to Athens. — The Party 
Chiefs and their Ambitious Designs. — Dis.appointment of Solon. — His Last Days and 
Death . 175 


The Origin of the Tyrants.— Establishment of their Power. — Endeavours of the 
Oligarchs to Overthrow theji. — Their Overthrow by the Help of the Spartans. — 
Periander, Pittacus, and Polyckates. — The Story of the Poet Arion. — The Argatho- 
rides in Sicyon. — PuocLES IN Epidaurus and Theagenes in Megara. — The Island of 
Lesbos. — Ionian Towns and Islands of Asia Minor. — Samos. — Despotism of Polycr.a.tes. 
— His Alliance with Amasis of Egypt. — Story of the Ring of Polycrates. — His 
Miserable Death through the Persian Governor Orcetes . 184 


The Government of Pisistratus (Peisistratos) the Tyrant. — Hippias and Hipparchus. — 
Completion of the Athenian Democracy. — The Various Councils. — Heliasts. — Dis- 
tinguished Citizens. — Power and Prosperity of Athens. — Character of the Athenian 
People. — Hellenic Culture and Liter.\ture, Lyuic Poetry. — Schools of Philosophy ; 
the Ionian, the Eleatic, etc. — Oldest Historic Writings of the Greeks . . . 193 

The Persian Wars. — Their Origin. — Revolt of the Greeks in Asia Minor. — The First 
Campaign. — Darius ; MardOnius. — Datis and Artaphernes. — Miltiades. — Battle of 
Marathon. — Themistocles and Aristides. — Maritime Power of Athens. — The Campaign 
OF Xerxes. — Leonidas and Thermopyl^. — Salamis, Plat^ia, Mycale .... 203 

Pausanias ; His Negociations with Xerxes ; His Death. — Themistocles and the Spartans. 
Aristides and Kymon or Cymon. — Nature of the Athenian Power; Cause of its 
Decay. — The Age of Pericles. — Era of Culture and Civilization. — Athenian Art 
and Science. — Aspasia. — Greek Sculpture. — The Parthenon .and Pallas Athene. — 
Athens until the Peace of Pericles. — The Rivalry of Sparta. — Vicissitudes and 
Changes during the Struggle 214 

{The First Period; The War of ArcMdamus, until the Peace of Nicias,in 421 B.C.) 
The Peloponnesian Confederacy. — Complaints against Athens. — Pericles and the Fleet. 
— The Plague at Athens. — Death of Pericles. — Decline of Athens. — Second Plague. 
— The Generals Demosthenes and Cleon Defeated at Delium. — Peace of Nicias. — 
Alcibiades ; His Career. — Expedition against Sicily. — Treason of Alcibiades. — 
Disasters of the Athenuns before Syracuse. — Alcibiades Recalled to Athens. — 
Made Commander of the Fleet. — Battles of Arginus^ and .^gospotami. — Vengeance 
OF THE Spartans. — Lysander. — The Decline of Athens. — Philocles. — Death of Alci- 
biades. — Result of His Career to His Country 223 

fiuBMissiON OF Athens. — Lysander. — Abolition of the Democratic Government. — The Olig- 
archy. — Critias.— 'The Islands and .Coast-towns. — Spartan Victories. — Retreat of 
Xenophon and the Ten Thousand. — Cheirisophos. — The Corinthian War, and the 
Peace of Antalcidas. — Agesilaus. — Battle of Coroneia, b.c. 394. — Destruction of the 
Spartan Naval Power by Conon. — Independence of the Islands. — Thrasybulos and 
Chabkias. — Discomfiture of the Spartans. — Peace of Antalcidas 237 



Sparta's Tyuanny, and the Tiieisan War.— Degeneracy ok the Si'artans.— Increase op 
Wealth.— The Ei'hdri.— Conquest ok Mantinea.— Degradation ok Olynthcs.- Thebes 


Thebes. — CAriLE or Mantinea, 362 2i8 

Macedonia and the Early Kings.— Alexander I.— Perdiccas II.— Amy.ntas II.— Philii' op 
Macedon.- JIis Character.— ilis Grbat E.nteki'rises.— The Period op the Sacred Wars. 
—The Theuans and Phok.«ans.— Intervention op Philip.— Vengeance on the Van- 
quished.— Consequences op the Sacred War.— Extension op Philip's Kingdom.— De- 
struction OP Greek Liberty.— ^schines at Rhodes.- Philip at Amphissa and 
El.\teia. — Alarm op the Athenians. — Inpluence of [Demosthenes. — BArrLE op 
Cm.eronka.— Philip's Meditated Expedition against Persia.— His Violent Death at 
^Egjj.— liis Wipe Olympias,— IIer Pkoceedinos 257 

{From the King's Accession to the Taking of Tyre.) 

Accession op Alexander the Gre.\t.— Education and Character.— Conflict with the Bar- 
barians OK the Hcemus or Balkan.— Conquest of Thebes in B(eotia.— Efforts op 
Demosthenes.— Alexander's War against Persia, and OvERrniiow of the Persian 
Empire.— Gradual Degeneracy of Persia.— Revolt of Ph(enicia.— Condition ok Egypt 
and op Asia Minor.— Commencement op the War, b.c. 334.— Passage of the Helles- 
pont.— Battle of the Granicus. — Gordium and the Gordian Knot.— Alexander and 
His Physician Philippus.— Darius Codomannus Encounters Alexander.— Battle of 
Issus, B.C. 333.— Alexander and Parmenio.— Submission of Palestine and Phcenicia.— 
Resistance of Tyre.— The Memorable Siege, b.c. 332.— Egypt Spared on its Sub- 
mission 267 


The Conqueror in his Glory.— The Great Victory of Arbela.— Destruction of Perse- 
poLis.— Death of Darius Codomannus, and End of the Persian Empire.— Alexander's 
Designs.— His Marriage.— Treason of Parmenio.— Death op Clitus.— Alexander's 
Expedition to India.— Pokus and his Allies.— Discontent of the Macedonians.— 
Enforced Return of the Conqueror.— The March Across the Desert.— Sufferings 
AND Losses of the Army.— Last Years op Alexander's Life.— Revolt of the Ve- 
terans.— Feud of Dionysos at Ecbatana.— Death of Hephj:st:on.— Death of Alexander 
AT Babylon.— Nature of his Enterprises 276 

Perdiccas and Meleagros.—Cassander.—Antigonus.— Demetrius.— Supplementary Parti- 
cuLARS.— PTOLEM.EUS.— The Gauls in Macedonia.— The Last Struggle of Greece.— 
The Achaian League.— Battle of Cranon.— Death of Djcmosxhenbs.- Hyperides.— 
Degeneracy op the Athenians.— Sparta.— Agis IV. and Cleomenes.— Aratus.— Anti- 
gonus Doson.—— Sparta once more Conquered.— Battle of Mantinea.— 
Philopcemen the Last of the Greeks. — Roman Law ?89 


Condition op Asia Minor.— The Seleucid.e.— Independent States.— Lysimachus, and the 
Kingdom of Thrace.— Galatia and its Divisions.— The Kingdom of Pergamum.— King 
ArrALus. — The EoYrriAN Kingdom of the Ptolemies. — The Glory of Alexandria. — 
Religion of the Time. — Egyitian and Greek Elements 302 



The Jewish Nation under the Seleucid^.— Antiochus the Great.— Matathias the Priest. 
—Judas the Heroic Leader.— Jonathan and Simon his Brothers.— John 
Hyrcanus. — and Antigonus.— Herod the Great.— His Son Antipater.— The 
Pharisees and the Sadducees.— The Essenes, etc.— Hellenism and ii-s Influence on 
the Ancient World. — Retrospect and Summary 311 

Ancient Italy; Gallic or Celtic Inhabitants.— Nature of the Country. — The Various 
Tribes.— The Insubri, the Boii, etc.— Physical Features of the Peninsula. 
—Nations op Central Italy before the Dominion of the Romans.— The Etruscans, 
their Industries, Manners, and Customs, their Government, etc.— The Umbrians, the 
Sabellian Tribes, Pickntes, Osci, Latini, etc.— Confederacy of Cities, with Legisla- 
tive Assemblies, and Public Festivals.— The Religloi.s System of Italy.— The Gods 
OF THE Latin and Sabine Nations.— Affinity with Greek Deities. — Veneration of 
THE Italians for the Spiritual and Universal 323 

The Tradition of Numitor, Amulius and Rhea Silvia.— Romulus and Remus.— The Found- 
iNG OP Rome, 7.53 b.c— Death of Remus.— The Abduction op the Sabine Women. — 
This Tatms, the Sabine King.— Numa Pc.mpilius.— State and Religioi.s Institutions. 




— Tarquin the Elder. — Building of the Capitol. — Servius Tullius.— Division of the 
EoMANS into Classes. — Murder of the King by his Son-in-Law. — Tarquin the Proud, 
— His Expulsion and its Causes. — The Most Ancient Government and Laws of Kome. 
Constitution of the Koman State under the Kings 340 


{From the Fall q/ the Kings to the Gaining of Political Equality by the Plebeians, B.C. 509-306.) 
The New Arrangement of the State. — The Senate and the Consuls, Qu^stors, etc. — 
Struggles of the New Republic. — The Etruscan King Foksenna. — Horatius Cocles. 
— Mucius Sc^voLA. — Efforts of Tarquin to Recover his Authority. — Battle of Lake 
Regillus. — Quarrels Between Patricians and Plebeians. — The Emigration of the 
Pj-ople to the Mons Sacer. — The Reasons for this Step. — The Cruel Laws of Debt. 
— AiT'KMPi's AT Compromise. — Tyranny of the Patricians. — Marcus Valerius the 
Dictator . 360 


The Story of Coriolanus.— Struggle for Equality of Rights. — The Story of Cincinnatus. 

— Land Laws. — The Decemviri. — Their Tyranny and Misgovernment. — The Story of , 
I Appius Claudius and Virginia. — Military Tribunes and Censors.— The Canuleian 
Law. — The Long Siege of Veil — The Gauls in Italy. — The Taking of Rome. — Story 
OF Brennus and Camillus. — Description of the Gauls 369 


(Subjugation of the Populations of Central and Southern Italy.) 

The First Samnite War, 342-3-10. — The Samnites in Capua. — Valerius Corvus, and Decius 
Mus THE Elder.— The Latin War, 340-338. — Battle near Mount Vesuvius. — Severity 
of Manlius Torquatus towards HIS Son. — Submission of the Various Races to the 
Romans. — Hernici, ^qui, Volsci, etc., Subdued. — The Rostrum at — The Second 
AND Third Samnite Wars. — The Caudine Forks. — Papirius Cursor and Fabius Maximus. 
— Victory of Papirius near Longula in 308. — Appius Claudius the Censor. — Death of 
the Samnite Leader, Pontius. — The War with Tarentum. — Pyrrhus, King of Epirus : 
His Character; His Heroic Undertakings; His Death. — Subjugation of Tarentum. — 
The Condition of the Conquered Populations. — The Loftiest Period of the Roman 
Republic. — Rome i^e -Mistress of Italy 389 


'The' Carthaginians in Africa. — Their System of Government. — Their Commerce. — The 
■ Carthaginians in Sicily. — Syracuse.— Agathocles the Tyrant. — The Mamertines and 
the Romans. — The First Punic War, b.c. 246-241. — Roman Intervention. — Hiero. — 
Invasion of Sicily. — Duilius.— Aitilius Regulus. — Xanthippus the Spartan. — Vicissi- 
tudes AND Dangers.^Roman Losses, and Subsequent Successes in Sicily. — The Island 
Converted into a Roman Province. — The Carthaginians in Spain. — Successes of 
Hamilcar Barcas. — Hannibal the Hero of the Carthaginians 401 

Hannibal's Invasion. — Passage of the Alps.— The Battles of the Ticinus, of Trebia, 
AND of Lake Thrasymene. — Cannae and its Consequences. — Marcellus in Sicily. — 
Successes of the Romans. — Hasdrubal. — Masinissa, King of Numidia, the Ally of 
THE Romans. — Hannibal's Return to Africa. — The End of the Struggle. — The Battle 
of Zama. — SciPio's Great Victory. — Supremacy of the Romans in the Mediterranean . 417 

Philip III. and his Schemes. — His War with Rome. — Battle of Cynoscephal.5). — Announce- 


Cato. — Lucius Cornelius Scipio. — Battle of Magnesia. — Conquest of Galatia. — The 
Province of Asia. — Defeat of the jS^tolians by Fulvius Nobilior.^Hannibal at the 
Court of Prusias of Bihtynia. — His End. — Death of Scipio Africanus and Philopcemen. 429 


The Legacy of Attalus III. — Akistonikos and Licinius Crassus Mucianus. — Philip III. 
OF Macedon and his Son Perseus. — Victory of Paullus ^milius at Pydna. — Surrender 
of Perseus. — Degeneracy and Misfortunes of Greece. — Rhodos, Delos, Epiros, etc. 
— Sycophancy of Princes and Kings towards the Romans. — Supremacy and Arrogance 
OF Rome. — Macedonia a Roman Province. — The Dissolution of the Federative League 
of the Ach^ans. — Kritolus and his Deeds. — Battle of Leukopetra. — Destruction of 
Corinth. — Subjugation of Greece. — Influence of Greek Culture on the World. . 435 

Revival of Carthage. — Cato urges the Destruction of the City. — Declaration of War. 
— Discouragement of the Carthaginians. — Roman Demands. — Determination to Resist 


THE City.— Cowardice and Treachery of Hasdrubal.— Scipio and Polybius. — Death of 
Cato the Censor and of Masinissa. — The Province of Africa. — Roman Culture and 
Literature. — Dramatic Poetry. — Plautus and Terence.— Polybius the Historian. — 
Cato Censorius.— His Political and Military Activity.— His Writings .... 443 


(Spain; NiDuantia ; the Story of the Oracchi.) 
Eeputatio.v of Rome among Fuueign Nations. — Romance and RKALiry. — Arrogance of the 
NouLES. — Misrule in the Provinces. — Pro-consuls, Pko-pr.etors, Ou.estors, etc. — Re- 
volt OF the Lusitanians. — The Barbarian Hero, Viriathus, l-t'J. — The Celtiberians. — 
Siege of Numantia. — Scirio the Younger Cafiurks the Crrir, 133. — Avarice and Mis- 
rule of THE Aristocr.vtic Party IN RoME. — TiBERius Sempronius Gracchus. — His Efforts 
to Procure a Land Law, 133. — Opposition of Scipio Nasica. — Com.mission for Valuing 
AND Distributing Public Lands. — Death of Tiberius Gracchus. — Caius Gracchus. — 
Renewal of the Schemes of Tiberius. — Tumult; Death of Caius Gr-acchus, 121 . . 432 


The Jugurthine War. — Cruelty, Treachery, and Cunning of Jugurtha. — IIiempsai, and 
Adherbal. — Cornelius Sulla and his Rival Caius Marius. — Cimbri and Teutones. — 


— Revolt of the Allies. — Effects of the War 465 

Triumph of the Marian or Democr.atic Party. — Designs of Marius. — Caius Servilius 
Glaucia. — Alteration of the Law. — Riots and Street Fighting. — Drusus' League of 
THE Italian Cities.— The Social or Marsic War.— Success of the Romans. — Sulpicius. 4/3 



Conquest of Phrygia and adjoining Regions. — Massacre of the Italians ok Tog.ati. 
— Power of Sulla. — His Triumph over Marius. — Outlawing of Marius. — Lucius Cor- 
nelius CiNNA. — Victories of Sulla. — Taking of Athens. — C. Flavius Fimbria. — Ex- 
actions AND Cruelties of Sulla. — Cinna in Rome. — Return of Marius. — Cruelties and 
Proscriptions. — Death of Marius, b.c. 86. — Return of Sulla to Italy. — B.attle of the 
Porta Collina. — Massacre and Terrorism, — Sulla made Dictator. — His Abdication and 

Death 483 

The Career of Sertorius. — The Servile W.\r, b.c. 72-71. — The War of the Pirates, 67 ; 
and the Second Mithridatic War, 72-71. — Tigranes and Lucullus. — Pompey's further 
Triu.mphs.— Catiline's Conspiracy. — The Times of Julius Cesar and the Death of 
Crassus. — Cicero's Banishment. — Cato the Younger 493 


Cesar's Wars in Gaul (58-50). — Manners, Customs, Religion, etc., of the Natives. — Their 
Towns. — The Helvetii and their Migration. — Battle at Bibracte. — Ariovistus the 
Gaulic Chief. — The Belg/E. — The Neevii. — The jSIdvi. — Publius Crassus. — Expeditions 
to Britain — Revolt in Gaul. — The Adu.atici. — Menapii, etc. — Desiruction of thk 
Eburones. — Conflict with Vercingetorix. — Policy of Cesar in Gaul. — Second Civil 
War (49-48). — Position of Parties in Rome. — Lavish Liberality of Cesar. — His Dic- 
tatorial Power. — Cato and the Aristocratic Party. — 31arcus Antonius. — Ilerda. — 
Dyrrachium. — Pharsalia. — The Flight of Pompey to Asia Minor and Egypt. — Death 
of Pompey.— Triumphant Return of Cesar to Rome 511 

War of Cesar in Egypt. — Cleopatra and her Brother. — Victories of Cesar. — Veni, vidi, 


Thapsos. — Death OF Metellus Scipio and of Cato. — The end of Juba, King of Numidia. 
— Triumph of Caesar. — War in Spain against the sons of Pompey. — Batfle of Munda, 
March, 45. — Fate of Pompey's Sons. — Unlimited power of Cesar i.\ Rome. — New Mean- 


March, 'U. — Brutus and Cassius. — Murder of Cesar. — Changes and Reforms effected 
BY Cesar in the State.— Finance, Military System, Colonial Government, etc. — 
The Julian Calendar. — Character and Qualities of Cjisar. — Effects of his Career 
ON the World's History 621 



THE Power of Augustus C/Esar. — Extent of the Empire under his Rule. — Various 
Offices United in his Person. — Government of the Provinces. — Exti.nction of Pa- 
triotism AND OF the Feeling of Liberty. — The Character of Augustus and his 
System of Governing the Empire.— Various Estimates of his Qualities. — His Clemency 
and Forbearance. — His Dissimulation. — Charm of his Manners. — The Golden Age 
OK Rome in Litekatuee and Art. — Learning becomes a Fashion.— Eloquence and 
Forensic Ability: Cicero. — The Poetry of the Romans in the Age of Augustus: 
Virgil, Ovid, Lucretius, Tibullus, Horace, etc. — Prose Liter.ature. — Gre.vt His- 
torians: Tacitus, Titus Livius, etc 538 

Peaceful Rule of Augustus. — Drusus on the Rhine. — Quinctilius Verus. — Hermann and 
Thusnelda.— Revolt of the Germans. — Germanicus. — Marbod. — Races, Religion and 
Gods.- Customs and Institutions of the Germans.— Occupations and Character. — 
Warlike Songs.— Gods akd Goddesses. — German Heroes. — Manners and Customs. — 
The Curistian Era 551 


Last Days of Augustus. — His Death, a.d. 14. — Tiberius, 14-37- — His Cruel Reign. — Sejanus. 
— Duusus. — Caligula, 37-41. — His Mad and Bloodthirsty Actions. — Claudius, 41-54. — ■ 
Great Undertakings during his Reign. — Ostia. — The Great Canal. — Mauretania a 
Roman Province. — Nero, 54-68. — His Depravity. — Cruelty to those around him. — Per. 
SECUTJON.— Burning of Rome. — Miserable Fate of Nero. — Degeneracy of the Empire. . 566 

Vespasian, a.d. 70-79. — His Warlike Exploits and Public Services. — The Jewish War. — 
Destruction of Jerusalem, — Pate of the Survivors. — Britain. — Revolt of Boadicea. — 
Agricola. — The Caledonians.— Civilization. — The Walls. — Rebellion of the 
Batavians. — Titus, 79-81. — His Character and Reign. — Early Death. — Herculaneum 
and PoMi'Eii.— Discovery of the Buried Cities. — Reign of Domitian, 81-96. — The Da- 
ciANS and Marcomanni. — Character of Domitian's Reign. — His Death .... 575 

nerva and his successors. 

The Reign of Nerva. — Ulpius Trajan. — His Reforms and Improvements. — Warlike 
Achievements. — Defeat of King Decebalus ob Dacia. — Province of Dacia Estab- 
lished. — His Conquests in the East. — The Emperor Hadrian. — His Peaceful Policy. 
— His Artistic Taste. — The Villa of Hadrian. — His Studies. — Reigns of Antoninus 
Pius and Marcus Aurelius. — Culture and Literature of the Last Period of the 
Heathen World 584 


The Successors of the Antonines. — Commodus. — Pertinax. — Septimus Seveeus. — Cara- 
calla. — Alexander Severus. — Maximin'US-: — Gordian, etc. — The East. — The Goths. — 
Zenobia and Palmyra. — The Emperor Aiirelian. — Diocletian and his Tixies. — Perse- 
cution OF THE Christians. — Separation of the Empire. — Retrospect and Conclusion. 
—Features of Roman Charactee and Rule under Various Systems at Different 
Periods 595 


The Struggles of the Christians, and the Establishment of Monotheism. — Victory op 
Christianity over Heathenism. — The Church. — The Christian Church op the First 
Centuries. — Constantine the Great and his Government. — Monachism and Asceticism. 
— Hermits, Pillar Saints, or Stylites, etc. — Constantine's Successors .... 611 


The Popular CoNFEDERAfJiES of the Germans, etc. .... , 625 


Invasions and Incursions of Barbarians. — The Huns. — Their Victories and Settlement. — 
The Emperor Valens. — Gratianus. — Valentinian II. — Theodosius the Great. — Divi- 
sion OF THE Roman Empire. — Arcadius and Honorius. — Stilicho. the Vand.\l. — His 
Heroic Deeds. — His Treaties with the Goths. — Rufinus. — Eudoxia. — The West Goths, 


Gothic King. — Foundation of New Kingdoms. — Ati'ila, the Scourge of God. — His 
Conquests.— Battle on the Catalaunian Plain. — His Death ....... 630 


Theodorich the Ostrogoth. — His Conquests and Treaties. — Persecution. — Boethus. — The 
Franks and Clovis. — Conquest of Gaul. — The Arians and the Latin Church. — Fierce- 
ness OF Clovis. — His Successors — The Merovingian Kings and Their Rule. — Degen- 
eracy. — The Sluggard Kings. — Mayors of the Palace. — Gradual Transfer of Author- 
iTY. — PiPiN the Short and the Carlovingians. — The Anglo-Saxons in Britain. — The 
Heptarchy. — Manners- and Customs. — Establishment of Christianity. — Ireland and 
St. Patrick 615 

The Age of Justinian. — His Predecessors. — His Brilliant Reign. — Church and Arena. — 
Fall of the Kingdoms of the Vandals and Goths. — Belisarius and his Victories. — 
His Fall.— Theodorich the Great. — The Longobardi or Lombards. — Alboin the 
Founder of their Kingdom. — The Byzantine Court and the War oF' the Lmages. — 
Origin and Rise of the Scl.wonian Natio.ns . . . 656 


The Arabs and their Country. — Nature of Arabia. — Manners, Customs, Government, and 
Religion of the Inhabitants. — Mecca and the Kaaba. — Medina. — Mohammed ; His Birth 
AND Profession. — The New Faith of the Eastern World Founded. — The Hidschra, 
or Hegira, in 622. — Return of Mohammed. — Establishment of His Religion. — Nature 
of the Mohammedan Faith; its Adaptation to the Eastern Char.acter. — Elements op 
Judaism and Christianity. — The Koran and its Nature. — The Caliphs the Successors 
of Mohammed.— Spread of the Religion. — Conquests : Fall of Ktesiphon and the 
Empire of the Sassanides, etc. — Omar and His Conquests. — Advance of the Koran 
IN the East.— Establishment of Cairo. — Othman. — Damascus the Eye op the East, 
•SHE Capital of the Caliphs 679 



Continued Conquests of the Ar.viis. — Ixvention of Greek Fiiie. — I. and IIis 
Successors. — Triumimis in Asia Minor. — Conquest of Northern Africa. — The Berhers. 
— Tarik's Invasion of Elroi'e. — GiitRAf/rAR.— End of the Gothic Kingdom in Si'ain. — 
Taking op Cordova and Toledo. — Governme.vt at Oviedo, etc. — The Saracens in 
France, Sicily, etc. — Rome Menaced itr Them. — Cultivation of the Arts of Peace. — 
Destruction of the Race of the Omeijades. — Establishment of the Abuasside 
Caliphs. — Haroun al R.\.schid, or Aaron the— His Power and Renown. — Archi- 
tecture, Music, Poetry, and the other Arts Cultiv.^ted. — Foundation of Schools 
AND Institutions. — Spread of Classical Writings of the Greeks through Arabic 
Translations. — Spread and Development of Commerce. — New Products Introduced 
INTO Europe. — Degeneracy of the Caliphs. — Loss of Power. — The Emir al Omra. — 
Spain under the Omeijades. — The Amir al ma. — Growth of Castille, Aragon, and 
Portugal C89 


The Successors of Charles Martel. — Pepin the Short Elected King. — His Power Con- 
firmed BY THE Pope. — Childerick III., the L.vst of the Merovingians. — The Founda- 
tion of the Temporal Power of the Papacy laid by Pepin. — Reign of Charles the 
Great, 778-811. — Various Conquests of Charles. — IIis Long and Glorious Reign. — 
Charles at Rome. — Foundation of the German Empire. — Various Countries Annexed 
TO THE Empire. — The Bavarians. — The Saxons. — The Saracens. — System and Charac- 
ter OF Charles the Great 701 


The Reign of Louis the Pious. — Division of the Empire. — Judith of Bavaria. — Second 
Division. — Colmar "the Field of Lies." — Deposition of Louis the Pious. — His 
Restoration. — Renewed Revolt and Prepar.utons for War. — Death of Louis. — The 
Emperor Lothaire. — Strife of the Brotiieus. — Battle of Fontaneium oh Fontenov. — 
Treaty of Verdun. — The Invasions of the Northmen. — Reign of Charles the Bald. 
— The Later Carlovingians. — Charles the Fat and His Successors. — The Warlike Ar- 
nulf and the Uungaiuans. — Charles the Simple. — Estaiilishme.nt of Rollo in Norman- 
dy. — Louis IV., d'Outremer. — Louis V. — Accession of Hugh Capet in dS7 . • ■ 711 


Nature of the Feud.4.l System. — Normans and Danes. — Scandinavia. — The Vikings. — Eng- 
land UNDER the Anglo-Saxon Kings. — The Later Saxon Kings. — The Danish Kings. 
— The Restoration. — Edward the Confessor. — Norman Influence and Norman Con- 
quest. — The Normans in Italy. — Establishment of the Kingdom of Sicily. — Iceland 
and Russia. — Bohemia, etc. — Establishment of the Greek Church in Russi.v, Poland, 
etc 723 


The Supremacy of the German-Roman Empire.— Conrad the Saltan, 911.— Henry I. of 
Saxony, called the "Fowler," 919. — The Saxon Vassals. — The Hungarians. —Es- 
tablishment of Cities and Strong Castles. — Truce with the Hungarians. — Battle 
of Merseburg, March 15th, 933. — Orro I., 93C.— Struggle with the Great Vassals. — 
Revolt of Henry of Saxony. — Distribution of the Great Fiefs. — Wealth and Mag- 
nificence of Otto. — Prowess of Gero, and Hermann the Billung. — Foundation of 
Bishoprics. — Harold Blatand. — The Bohemians, etc. — Italy and Lorraine. — Berengar 
OF IvREA. — Marriage of Otto with the Princess Adelheid. — Revolts of Conrad and 
Ludolf. — Renewal of the Hungarian War. — Orro's Great Victory at the Lech. — 
Otto in Italy.— The German-Roman Empire Supreme in Power.— Summary . . . 737 


Otto II.— Influence of Theophano.— Henry the Wrangler of Bavaria. — Revolt Against 
the Emperor. — Triumphs of Otto. — Expedition into Italy. — Perils and Disasters.— 
Danish Incursions. — De.\th of the Umperor. — The Reign of Otto III., OSSj-litOi.— 
MiN(jRiTY OF THE "Emperor. — Regency of Theophano. — The Northmen and their Doings. 
— Character of Otto III. — His Enterprises and Enthusiasm. — His Early Death. — 
Culture and Progress under the Ottos. — Henry II., 1002-1024. — His Achievements in 
Italy.— His Energetic Rule 751 


Conrad II. — Pacific.\tion of the Empire. — Expedition into Italy. — Solemn Coronation 
•as Emperor in Italy. — His Son Crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle. — Triumph of the Emperor 
over his Enemies. — Submission of Miec/.islav of Poland. — The Kingdom of Arles. — 
Establishment of the "Peace of God." — Beneficent Nature of the Measure. — In- 
ternal Affairs. — Second Roman Expedition. — De.^th of Conrad in 1039. — Reign of 
Henry the Swarthy, 1039-1050.- Valour and Sag.\citv of the Emperor.— His Idea of 
Universal Monarchy in the Western World.— His Exploits in Italy.— His Premature 
Death 7C5 




Henry IV.— His Character.— Tukbulence of the Princes.— The Billungs.— The Regency 
OF Agnes.— The E.mperor carried off by Count Eckbert. — Hanno of Cologne and 
Adalbkut of Bremen.— Henry Assumes the Govkbnment.— Compulsory Retirement of 
Adalheut.— Henry in Saxony.— Revolts of the Saxon Dukes and Nobles.— Conspiracy 
of Otto ok Nordheim and the Billungs. — Henry and the Church. — Rome's Second 
Supremacy.— Gregory VII.— The Quarrel Concerning Investiture.— Excommunications 
and Penance.- Canossa. — Reaction Against Gregory. — His Ultimate Defeat. . . 773 


Henry's Expedition of Vengeance to Italy. — Deposition of Gregory VII. and Elevation 
OF Clement III.— Exile and Death of Gregory. — The Concluding Years of Henry 
IV. — Urban II. — Henry Opposed by His own Sons. — His Imprisonment. — His Escape 
AND Death. — Reign op Henry V. — Renewal of the Quarrel Concerning Investiture. 
— Expedition to Rome. — The Pope and Cardinals taken Prisoners. — Compromise 
OF the Dispute Concerning Investiture. — Lothair the Saxon. — Rise of the Hohen- 
STAUFEN House 789 

Degeneracy of the Byzantine Empire. — The Mohammedan World. — The Shadow-caliphate 
OF Bagdad, etc. — The Abbassides. — Peter of Amiens. — Preaching of the First Crusade. 
— The Expedition. — Godfrey op Bouillon. — Doryl(eum and Antiochia. — The Capture 
OF Jerusalem. — Founding of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. — Orders of Knighthood 
Founded during the Crusades 797 

{Welfs and Waiblingers — Guelphs and Ghibellines.) 
Conrad III. — Contest with Henry the Proud of Bavaria. — Weinsberg. — Henby the Lion 
OF Saxony. — The Wends on the Baltic. — The Second Crusade (1147-1149). — Louis VII 
of France. — Bernhard of Clairvaux. — Conrad's Misfortunes. — Loss of Damascus. — 
Triumphs of Saladin. — Loss of Jerusalem, in October, 1187 81^ 


Feedee,">ck's Important Reign. — The Great Fiefs. — Milan and Northern Italy. — Arnold 
OF BsESCiA. — Reconciliation of Emperor and Pope. — Frederick's Great Expeditions 
and Vigorous Rule. — Meeiing on the Roncalian Plain. — Submission of Lombardy. — 
Frederick in Germany. — New War with Italy. — Verona. — Frederick in Rome. — Pesti- 
lence. — Alessandria. — Legnano. — Venice. — Reconciliation with Alexander III. — War 
with Henry the Lion 819 


The Emperor Henry VI. — Italy. — Henry in Naples and Sicily. — Rebellion Suppressed. 
— The Rival Emperors, Philip of Swabia and Otto IV.— Civil W.\r in Germany. — 
Success of Philip. — Partial Reconciliation with the Pope. — Murder of Philip. — 
Emperor Otto IV. and Innocent III.— Supremacy of Rome.— Frederick II. (1218-1250). 
— His Magnificence and Power. — Emperor and Pope at Variance 838 


The Fourth Crusade. — Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders under the Blind 
Doge Dandolo. — Isaac and Alexios Angelos. — New Kingdoms Established on the 
Grecian Shores. — Further Enterprises : the Children's Crusade in 1212. — Zeal of 
Innocent III. — Fifth Crusade.— Frederick II. in Palestine.— The Work of Frederick 
IN Sicily and in Germany. — Magnificent Court. — Revolt and Defeat of Frederick's 
SON Henry.— Renewed Guelph and Ghibelline Strife. — Innocent IV. and Frederick. 
— Death of the Emperor. — Enterprises of Louis IX. of France 849 

Conrad IV. (1250-1254).— Manfred in Italy.— Battle of Benevento, 1266.— Conradin, the 


Strife with Ottokar of Bohemia.— Adolphus of Nassau.— Albert I. of Austria.— 
Henry VII. of Luxemburg.— His Expedition to Italy.— Louis the Bavarian.— His 
Strife with Frederick the Handsome of Austria.— Charles IV. and Wenceslaus.— The 
Emperor Sigismund.— Ecclesiastical Conditions.— John Huss.— The Council of Con- 
stance (1414-1418).— The Hussites.— Council of Basle (1431-1449).— Germany under 
Frederick III. and Maximilian 1 859 

France under the early Capetians.— Hugh Capet and his Successors.— Feudal Power 
OF THE Nobles.— Sequence of Kings to Charles IV.— England under the Plan- 
tagenets.— Henry II. and Thomas a Becket.— Philip Augustus of France and John 
of England.— Literature in France and England.— England under the Edwards.— 
French-English War of Succession.— The Maid of Orleans.— Wars of the Roses.— 
Italy and its Affairs.— Northern Italy.— Central Italy.— Southern Italy . . .872 




Earliest Recoids and Relics of the Human Race. 

HISTORY principally concerns itself with 
the doings of mankind from the epoch 
when civilization was so far advanced that 
human beings began to unite in a community 
of states. It will, however, be advisable in 
this place to give a short account of such 
reasonably grounded theories as relate to the 
origin and age of the human race, and the 
condition of men in pre-historic times. Much 
important service is rendered in such inquiries 
by that branch of geology which deals ex- 
clusively with investigations into the nature 
of the crust of the earth, thus affording us 
access to the secrets which for countless ages 
have lain concealed within its bosom. The 
different strata of the earth's crust are, so to speak, leaves in the genealogical 
history of nature inscribed by the Creator Himself, and arc therefore among 
the most intelligible and reliable revelations that we possess. The formation 
of the earth's crust gives us, however, no information as to the period when 
men first began to understand each other in articulate speech, though it has 


preserved within its different strata the earHest products of human industry, 
together with the remains of gigantic species of animals that have long dis- 
appeared from the surface of the earth. The fashioning hand of man can 
scarcely be recognised in these weapons and tools of stone, mingled with all 
kinds of utensils made of bone or horn ; but in later times the specimens 
begin to exhibit an improved style of form and workmanship. That these 
different implements of the stone period belong to a far more remote date 
than is commonly supposed, is unquestionable, and a single example will 
suffice to prove this, as it gives us an insight into the combined results of 
all geological and archaeological investigation. 

In different parts of Denmark, there are peat-moors, the depth of which 
varies from three to ten yards. In the lowest stratum of these turf-beds, the 
remains of pine branches are often found, and among them weapons of stone 
which already exhibit a certain refinement and ingenuity of design. In the 
next stratum immense oak-forests lie buried, containing swords and shields ot 
bronze hidden away among the massive branches ; while the upper stratum 
preserves specimens of iron weapons found among the remains of beech-woods 
which have existed in Denmark from Caesar's times, about 1,900 years ago, 
to the present day, though all traces of the pine and oak forests have entirely 
disappeared. As we constantly meet with analogies in nature, we may conse- 
nuently assume that in proportion as she advanced in her process of improve- 
ment in different parts of the earth, and at different periods, human beings 
were to be found who differed from each other much the same as plants of one 
and the same species in different parts of the earth, which while preserving 
their similarity of structure and other characteristics, vary infinitely in size, 
colour, etc. 

Human Races, Roots of Languages, and Modes of Life. 

A comparison of the varieties prevailing among the inhabitants of the 
earth leads to the acceptance of three (or five) human stocks, or races, differ- 
ing in mental characteristics, power, and capacity for civilization, as well as 
in bodily structure, the formation of the head and face, and colour of the 
skin. Assuming the number of races to be three, they are : 

(i) The Caucasian race, destined for freedom and mastery, to which 
belong the nations speaking Indo-Germanic languages, viz., the Europeans 
(with the exception of the Lapps and Finns), the inhabitants of Western Asia, 
Indians, and North Africans, and the people who have emigrated from 
Europe to America ; this, on account of its capacity for civilization, forms the 
most important subject of history. It is distinguished by symmetry of limb 
and beauty of bodily form and face, and embraces the most manifold trans- 
itions from the white skin of the blonde Northern European to the dusky, 
black-haired Southerner and Hindoo. 

(2) The African Negro race, transplanted by the slave trade to America and 
the West Indies, with more or less black, curly, woolly hair, and prominent 

(3) The Mongolian race in Eastern Asia and in the northerly polar regions 
of the Old and New Worlds (Mongolians, Huns, Upper Indians, Chinese, 
Japanese, Calmucks, Finns, Lapps, Esquimaux, and others), with smooth 
black hair, flat nose, narrow, widely-separated eyes, flat occiput, and a skin 
varying from yellow to light brown. Besides these three races, principally 
appertaining to the ancient divisions of the earth, two subordinate medium 
races are taken into account, namely : 



Ornament of a plate from the Swiss Lake-village. Ornaments of bronze vessels of the Bronze period. 

l.ancc heads, dagger, arrow, axe, hammer, etc., of flint, from the Stone period ; found in Denmark. Harpoon of Reindeer 
horn ; axe mounted m stag's horn ; urns, etc., in burnt clay, chiefly from Denmark. 

^''''Bgcr with sheath, axe head, pincers, kelt, knife, fibula: or buckles, bracelet, etc.. of bronze. Urns of various shapes, of the 
Bruii^c period, found in the lake dwclliiijs. Ornamented shield of bronze, found in I'enm.\rk. 


(4) The Malay (Australian), with smooth or slightly curly black hair, and 
dark brown, more or less dusky skin, as a species of transition from the 
Caucasian to the Ethiopian or Negro race. To this variety belong the inhabit- 
ants of New Holland and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. 

(5) The American race, with copper-brown coloured skin, and lank, coarse 
hair, which comprises the still remaining aborigines of America, the Mexicans, 
Peruvians, etc., and forms the transition from the Caucasian to the Mongolian 

While the various populations of the earth have been divided into five 
races, investigation has endeavoured to trace back the difi'erent languages of 
the world, estimated at two thousand, to their separate groups, and to dis- 
cover in their prevailing similarities the existence of a common root, and the 
original connection between races that are now distinct. 

To the Caucasian race belong the three following groups of languages : 
a. The Indo-Germanic (Indo-European and Aryan), including the Indian, 
Persian, and European tongues, with the exception of the Hungarian, Baskish, 
P'inlandish, and Esthonian. b. The Semitic group of languages, spoken by 
Semitic nations, Abyssinians, Phoenicians, and Carthaginians. c. North 
African group, comprising the ancient Egyptian, Koptic, and most of the 
laneuasfes of the ancient inhabitants of Northern Africa. 

The principal group of languages spread through North-eastern Asia 
and Europe, and belonging to the Caucasian as well as the Mongolian 
tribes, is the Finnish-Tartar and Turanian group, spoken by the countless 
tribes of Finlanders (with whom may be reckoned the Magyars in Hungary, 
as well as the inhabitants of Esthonia and Livonia), Tartars (including the 
Osmanli Turks, Kirghiz, Baschkirs),and many Mongolian nations (the Tungusi, 
Kamtschadales, and others). " The chief common feature of the Turanian 
languages is their agglutination, that is to say, the formation of declension and 
conjugation by means of mechanical and separable construction, in opposition 
to the organic formation of the Semitic and more particularly the Aryan 
languages." The Turanian idioms are principally nomadic dialects. 

In the south-east of Asia the Chinese Further-Indian group, with 
monosyllabic words without inflection, peculiar to the Mongolian nations, 
prevails in China, Further India, Tibet, and other places ; and in Japan and 
the East Asiatic Archipelago we have the Japanese Kurile group of tongues. 

The languages spoken on the islands of the Pacific are reckoned to 
belong to the Malay- Polynesian group. 

The languages and dialects of the copper-coloured race, estimated at 
about five hundred, have, in spite of their great diversity, a homogeneous 
original tone, and can likewise be classed in one common group, under the 
name of the American. 

Even the languages of the countless African races have been more or 
less studied and classified by European investigators, although through ignor- 
ance of the interior of this inaccessible country, the results have necessarily 
been insignificant, and the grounds of reasoning more or less unreliable. Only 
within the most recent times, through the careful observation of European 
travellers, have we obtained more exact knowledge of the native dialects 
spoken in this portion of the earth, which was till then assumed to have been 
the scene of the Babylonian confusion of tongues. Much astonishment was 
caused by the discovery of a group of languages spoken by the negroes 
in the eastern part of the country, called the "Zanzian" (from Zanzibar), 
which prevails throughout the greater portion of South Africa, and which, 




DRAViDAN (India). 









as regards beauty of form and diversity, is declared to be equal even to 
the civilized languages of Europe. The most perfect and copious of these 
laneuaees is said to be the Suaheli, which is understood from Aden to 
Madagascar and the Tanganyika Lake. 

Just as men established themselves in different parts of the earth, so they 
also betook themselves to diverse ways of life and to different occupations. 
The inhabitants of the steppes and deserts, where fertile pasture was only to 
be found in certain spots, chose a shepherd's life, and journeyed from place 
to place, as wandering tribes, with their tents and cattle, changing their 
resting-place according to the seasons of the year. They are called nomads, 
and their principal occupation is breeding cattle. The settlers dwelling on 
convenient sea-coasts, as they attained a greater development, and their 
numbers increased, soon discovered the advantage of their position. They 
carried on navigation and commerce, and obtained prosperity and wealth, 
whereupon they took to the building of handsome dwellings, and the laying 
out of towns, while the dwellers on inhospitable shores sustained their joyless 


existence by fishing. The inhabitants of the plains, on the other hand, turned 
their attention to agriculture and the arts of peace ; while the wild, hardy 
mountaineers devoted themselves to the chase, and, urged on by an impetuous 
desire for freedom, found happiness in war and fighting. Commerce has been 
one of the most powerful levers for the elevation of the human race, with the 
free intercourse thus brought about between various nations. The dwellers 
in fruitful plains and conveniently-situated river districts carried on a general 
and inland trade, exporting to other countries their superabundant produce, 
and receiving in return the results of foreign art and industry. 

The most extensive form of overland commerce in Asia and Africa is the 
national caravan trade, by means of which considerable loads of merchandise 
are transported from afar to distant countries, thus frequently giving occasion 
for the establishment of commercial towns and centres. The difficulties and 
dangers of these commercial journeys through far-off districts, intersected by 
sandy deserts, and often inhabited by wild bands of marauders, compelled 
many men to combine in their common undertakings. The beast of burden 
in these journeys was the camel, or " ship of the desert," as it has been called ; 


and tlie nomadic inhabitants of the steppes whose country was traversed 
were employed as protectors and f^uidcs. As these travelUng merchants of 
the caravans frequently made their haltinf^-place at some celebrated temple, 
whose site was considered holy, and around which peace was always kept, 
trade in ancient times received a certain sanction of holiness, and was placed 
under the protection of reliction. The inhabitants of the coast countries, 
possessing creeks and harbours, carried on a maritime trade, which in ancient 
times was principally confined to coasting. At first they exchanged their 
goods in a system of barter, and not till a later period was the idea originated 
of giving a fixed value to the precious metals, and converting them into 
stamped coins for currency in commercial transactions. The dwellers in flat, 
thinly-populated districts, needing help in their daily labour, began to tame 
wild animals for domestic use, and secured their property, huts, fields, and 
herds by different laws and regulations ; wherefore the culture of land has 
been declared to be the " great gate of humanity." The inhabitants of towns, 
on the other hand, turned their attention to trades and inventions for the 
convenience and embellishment of life, and cultivated the arts and sciences, 
through which the power of the human mind, with all its various faculties, 
has made itself felt. 

States and Forms of Government. 

Tn course of time the different populations of the world became divided into 
civilized and uncivilized communities, according as their disposition and inter- 
course promoted the expansion of their mental powers, or their dulncss and 
isolated position impeded it. 
The uncivilized peoples are 
cither wild hordes united 
under the guidance of a ruler, 
who holds in his hand the 
fate of each individual, or 
wandering tribes collected 
under one chief, who ex- 
ercises in a paternal manner 
the rights of sovereign and 
iudge, and intercedes with 
the Deity on behalf of his 
subjects. But neither these 
nomadic races, with their 
patriarchal government, nor 
the wild tribes who people 
the sandy deserts of Africa, 
the mountainous regions of 
Asia, and primeval woods of 
America, find any place in arab sheik or chief. 

history ; for history occupies itself only with civilized races who by their 
constitution and laws have been divided into states and kingdoms, and 
through their customs, habits, and peaceful mtcrcourse, have amalgamated 
into a distinct nation. 

States again have been divided into monarchical or republican governments, 
according to their different methods of rule. A government is monarchical 
when the power is in the hands of a single individual, who, according to the 


extent ot his territory, bears the title of emperor, king, duke, prince, etc. A 
republic or commonwealth is a constitution in which the power and sover- 
eignty are vested in the enfranchised male population, and the executive 
power is placed in the hands of a chosen authority. There is, however, a 
great variety in these forms. If, for instance, the government is entirely 
carried on by a few individuals distinguished by pre-eminence of birth or 
wealth, we designate such a state as an aristocratic republic ; and where the 
prerogative is placed in the hands of a few families or persons, we call it an 
oligarchy. When, on the contrary, the responsible heads of the government 
are chosen out of and by the whole people, either in general assemblies or by 
communities, and the people themselves possess the legislative power, we 
term such a constitution a democracy or democratic republic ; and again, 
when the lower classes exercise a preponderating influence, the democracy 
tends to ochlocracy, or government by the masses. 

Each of these forms was esteemed legitimate, if the common interests 
and well-being of the people were looked upon as the highest aim, and 
the ruling power acknowledged the supremacy of law and custom ; but they 
degenerated in proportion as injustice and tyranny established the law of 
might in the place of inherited custom, exalted private interests, and enforced 
them as law on every citizen. The monarchical form is either absolute, when 
the hereditary ruler appoints his counsellors, imposes taxes, and regulates the 
government and laws without the intervention of the people, or limited, when 
these things can only be done with the assistance of the people's representa- 
tives. Limited monarchy, in which the sovereign is irresponsible, but is sur- 
rounded by responsible ministers, may be of two kinds, according as the 
whole nation is represented, as in a constitutional monarchy, or only certain 
classes. When the pleasure of the ruler takes the place of the law, absolute 
monarchy degenerates into despotism ; and again, when the sovereignty of 
the people is regarded as the supreme power in the government, a constitu- 
tional monarchy tends to resemble a republican form. When an invisible, 
Divine power is worshipped by a people or state as the supreme sovereignty, 
and the authorities and heads of the government are only regarded as the 
administrators of a higher will and power, there arises a theocracy, with hier- 
archical division and gradation of offices. 

In most of the ancient civilized communities prevailed the institution of 
caste, which produced considerable restrictions of freedom. By this arrange- 
ment hard and fast distinctions were drawn between men according to their 
position and calling — distinctions which were strictly and sacredly preserved 
from generation to generation, no mingling of the distinct classes, or transition 
from one to another being permitted. A distinction was made between the 
upper class, including the priests and warriors, and the lower class, comprising 
the common people. In proportion as a nation withdrew itself from the patri- 
archal sway of its heads and chiefs, and turned from its primitive warlike state 
to peaceful habits, and made the service of the gods its chief object, the posi- 
tion of its priesthood, who acted as mediators between the Divine power and 
the 'human race, increased in authority and importance. Distinguished from 
all other classes by their costume, hierarchical rank, and outward ceremonial, 
and venerated by tl-ie people as the revealers of Divine manifestations and 
dogmas, whose true application they alone understood and could impart to 
their successors, the priests possessed, in many ancient civilized states, con- 
siderable power and privileges, until the military class of nobles succeeded in 
placing themselves on an equality with the ecclesiastical body, and either 


agreed with them in a division of power, or vanquished them, and established 
a temporal despotism by the edge of the sword. In this way privileged 
classes arose, who, distinguisiied by ability, superiority, or skill in arms, ob- 
tained a higher rank in the community. The monarchical ruler was generally 
taken from the nobility, and his race or family had predominance over all the 
others, and formed a dynasty. The third and the fourth castes were composed 
of the lower grades of artizans, agriculturists, etc. Where shepherds were 
found in any of these states, they formed the lowest and most despised caste 


in the population, partly on account of the unclean nature of their occupation 
among their flocks. The system of caste has existed for the longest period 
and in its most marked form in India. It generally presupposes a conquest 
of the country, and a subjugation of the original inhabitants in very ancient 
times. In Egypt, also, there existed different kinds of caste distinctions, 
according to the position and occupations of the people of various classes ; the 
castes in some communities being so strictly separated that the barrier might 
not be broken down by any mingling of classes by intermarriage, and even all 
outward intercourse was as much as possible avoided. 



The Religion and Forms of Worship of the Heathen World. 

Just as governments and constitutions have taken various and widely- 
different forms, so have also religion and forms of worship become the mirror 
of the mental and spiritual activity of different peoples. Originating in the 
inner world of thought and feeling, religion has its chief source in the longing 
of the human soul for communion with a spiritual Creator, in the awe in- 
spired by the spectacle of the powers of nature, the feeling of dependence 
on a higher, power, and the insufficiency of human strength in the storms 

and tempests of this earthly life. 

Religion is, therefore, not merely one aspect of the 
inner life ; it is rather the totality, the Divine spark, 
from which all spiritual activity proceeds, and the 
soil from which the intellectual germ rises upward 
to the light. With many primitive nations, religion 
and devotional exercises stand in the same relation 
to the inner life that their daily occupations take 
with regard to their physical existence ; and the 
daily labour of the people is sanctified by higher 
aims and aspirations. In this mutual association of 
the practical with the religious life, the systems of 
religion among the heathen had their origin. Men 
worshipped the Divine power manifested in the circle 
of natural phenomena, which invested earthly life 
with an aim and significance ; and while they be- 
lieved they discerned this Divinity in the light and 
life-giving sun, and in the forces manifested in the 
growth and decay of plants, they pictured to them- 
selves these powers as personal beings endowed with 
consciousness and will, and worshipped the divinities 
they thus set up for themselves with religious rites 
and ordinances. But with the formation of religious 
conceptions, as with religious services and sacrifices, 
a great difterence has been recognised between 
nations possessing more elevated natural gifts, and 
talent or capacity for development, and the rude 
tribes capable only of the animal enjoyments of exist- 
ence. For while the uncultivated tribes in Africa and 
of Central Asia clothed their primitive conceptions 
of a deity in rude shapes, making their fetishes of 
inanimate objects or representations of animals, but 
seldom of human beings, the people of Western Asia, 
where the sun, moon, and stars shone forth with their 
greatest splendour, established the worship of the stars (Sabseism), and en- 
deavoured either to grasp philosophically the idea of the Divine Being, whose 
presence they recognised in all visible things, and whom they represented as 
being the life in nature, that which truly and really existed in all outward 
things (Pantheism), or endeavoured to mould their belief in an artistic form 
by deifying all nature, representing the gods as a higher kind of men, more 
richly endowed and more perfect than human beings (Polytheism). This 
diversity was also manifested in their outward religious rites and sacrifices. 
While the barbarous primitive tribes approached their fetishes with words 




of magic, charms learnt by rote, and forms of prayer, and sought by spells, 
talismans, amulets, etc., to protect themselves from the power of evil spirits, the 
civilized man brought his inner life into communion with the Divine by means 
of sacred poetry, created with a skilful hand a sublime image in which the 
human form was glorified and idealized, and which was set up as an outward 
representation and picture of the Divinity, and sought through observation 
of the planets and heavenly bodies, and investigation into the laws of nature, 
to improve, enlarge, and ennoble his conception of the nature and essence 
uf the Divine Being that governs the world. And while the Syrian and 


Phoenician tribes clung to the terrible superstition that they appeased the 
Divine wrath by the sacrifices of beloved sons and daughters, whom they laid 
in the arms of a glowing idol, and other wild, half-civilized nations slaughtered 
their slaves and prisoners of war on the altars of their gods, the Greeks and 
Italians, out of their improved civilization, attained to a higher enjoyment of 
Jife, held joyful celebrations in honour of their deities, offering up oblations of 
fruits and animals, from the firstlings to the great hecatombs or sacrifices of 
a hundred oxen, and, uniting in friendly communion, delighted in the gentle 
arts of poetry, festive song and the sacrificial dance, which owed their origin 
to these relicrious festivals. 


In all the various religious systems of the ancient world, which we shall 
have to speak of more fully when we come to treat of the history of the 
separate nations, there is manifested the same endeavour to grasp the idea of 
the Deity, whose existence man perceived both in nature and in his own 
inner consciousness, and to approach it by the fostering and development 
of the spiritual part of human nature. The Semitic nations, especially the 
Babylonians, sought for their ideal in the investigation of outward nature, 
the observation of the sun and stars in their courses, and their influence on 
the earth and on human life ; the Indians endeavoured to penetrate the 
secrets of creation, and endeavoured to find the connection between the human 
soul and the soul of nature, the created world and the deity, and to extract 
the hidden spiritual germ, and trace back existence to its source ; the 
Egyptians united these two tendencies in a system suited to their national 
characteristics and position, and venerated the eternal power and immuta- 
bility of the Divine Being as symbolized in the steadfast, abiding instincts of 
animals ; the Medes and Persians elevated into an ethic system the idea that 
hosts of good and evil spirits under Ormuz, the god of light, and Ahriman, 
the demon of darkness, waged eternal war to obtain the mastery over the 
world and humanity ; and taught that man should serve the god of light in 
purity of soul, and should do battle with the evil one in the outer world as 
well as in his own breast ; the Greeks filled the universe with the Divine 
Being, and ennobled the human form by fashioning the images of the gods 
in their likeness ; and through the poetic images of a superb mythology they 
established as it were a direct communication between the gods and the 
human race. 

A pantheistic perception or belief in the quickening and vivifying influence 
of the Divine Spirit throughout matter and all created things thus lay at 
the root of all these phases of religion. Pantheism is, in fact, the common 
characteristic of all heathen religions. We must not assume, however, that 
this religious idea has been transmitted from one nation to another ; here and 
there single conceptions and forms may have been transplanted and assimi- 
lated, and through intercourse and poetic activity may have occasionally 
woven native and foreign elements into certain myths. But the religious 
systems, with their legends and forms of worship, have arisen out of the 
characteristic mental constitution of the nations and their unchecked tendency 
to ideal imagery : they are the result of their own thoughts, aspirations, and 
endeavours — the reflection of their spiritual life. The resemblance in their 
forms proceeds from the similarity of human nature and the incapacity of 
man's intellect to fathom the source of life and consciousness. Every religious 
conception which is not rooted in theism, necessarily leads to pantheism, for 
the divine forces when comprehended in their diversity are infinite ; they 
unite in a perfect harmony only in the one Great Cause, which has existed 
through all eternity, and is the origin of all life and energy. The belief in 
one personal God, who created heaven and earth, who governs the universe 
according to fixed laws, and decides the fate of men and nations with His 
inscrutable decrees, was attained and preserved in the midst of heathen sur- 
roundings by only one small nation — the Israelitish. 

The worship of the living Jehovah [i.e., Jahve, the eternal) overcame with 
them all tendencies to a sensual idolatry ; and in the consciousness of this 
superiority of the " chosen people " over the whole heathen world, the author 
ot "The Wisdom of Solomon" exclaims : 

" Surely vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could 



not out of the good things that are seen know Him that is ; neither by con- 
sidering the works did they acknowledge the work-master. 

" But deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, 
or the violent water, or the lights of heaven to be the gods which govern the 

" With whose beauty if they being delighted took them to be gods ; let 
them know how much better the Lord of them is ; for the first author of 
beauty hath created them. 


" But if they were astonished at their power and virtue, let them under- 
stand by them how much mightier He is that made them. 

" For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionably the maker 
of them is seen." 

The Sources and Chief Divisions of History. 

History treats of the origin, growth, and decline of kingdoms and govern- 
ments, and the development and decay of nations. For everything under 
the sun is subjected to endless change, and the fate of nations is but the 
common fate of men. Each nation has a happy season of youth, when all 



its powers unfold themselves ; it has a ripe manhood, when outward great- 
ness is combined with internal prosperity ; and it has an old age, when the 
powers decline, until at last the nation has to make way for, or submit to, 
a stronger one. In the first period, historical, warlike deeds form the chief 
object of historic record ; in the second, government and legislation, and 
mental activity as shown in art and literature ; in the third, party combats, 
disputes as to social rights and position of classes, and the complications 
of a civilized and over-refined people. In this manner men attained to the 
knowledge that patriotism, good citizenship, and simplicity of life are the 
foundations of greatness in kingdoms and peoples ; and that selfishness, and 
consequently strife, together with effeminacy and love of pleasure, are their 
destruction and ruin. 

As kingdoms and nations arose before the art of writing came into use, and 
men carried on wars, and made civil regulations before they noted down their 
achievements, what we know of the most ancient history is derived from 
sources alike unreliable and incomplete. The information concerning an 
ancient people was sometimes drawn from ballads, national songs, etc. ; some- 
times rested on reports which were handed down in oral tradition, and in the 

course of transmission received many strange 
and fabulous additions ; sometimes, also, it 
was founded on monuments, such as boundary 
stones, funeral mounds, tombs, ruins of ancient 
buildings, inscriptions, coins, implements, 
weapons, etc. 

The earliest historical records, therefore, of 
the ancients, interwoven and adorned with 
the images of a youthful and vigorous fancy, 
are to be looked upon as legendary or mythi- 
cal, and are more to be regarded as valuable 
to epic poetry — which chooses its subject- 
matter by preference from the heroic age — 
than to descriptive history. History does not 
become reliable until authors, either con- 
temporary with, or at least not far removed 
from, the events they relate give us the results 
of their investigations and experiences. With the growth of civilization the 
knowledge of historical events becomes ever clearer and more reliable, until 
at last the fulness of written records prepares for the student difficulties of 
quite a difterent nature. 

Primitive traditions, national songs, etc., have been chiefly used as the 
sources of ancient histories, as in the works of Livy, Paulus Diaconus, 
Jornandes, etc. ; but though an enlightened use of such materials clears the 
path of the investigator, fact and fiction are mingled in a very inextricable 

Coins, inscriptions, and monuments afford more reliable information, and 
also the so-called Huns' graves in Germany, England, France, etc. The pile- 
structures which have been discovered in the depths of Swiss and German 
lakes, also point to the existence of a very ancient people, though no certain 
knowledge has yet been obtained as to the origin or character of the race. 

Before the discovery of printing, historical records and all literary works 
were preserved in manuscripts. These parchment records and partly effaced 
palimpsests, which for centuries had lain in the dust of cloister libraries, were 



at a later day arranged and printed. Tlie present time has also its written 
documents, consisting of letters, drafts of treaties, protocols, etc., of which the 
historian is compelled to take note, particularly if he would obtain an insight 
into the complicated character and events of our own time. 

An historical arrangement of events according to their date, without any 
inward connection, is called a chronicle ; the knowledge of countries necessary 
for the study of history is obtained in geography, of places in topography ; 
and of dates in chronology. The calculation of time, or of eras, differs, how- 
ever, with different nations, for while the Christian nations date from the 
birth of Christ, the Jews date from the Creation of the world, and the Maho- 
metans from the flight of their prophet from Mecca to Medina (the Hegira, 
A.D. 622). The method of calculation of the Greeks varied with different races 
and governments. In the earliest periods they often designated the year 
according to the names of the most important magistrates or priests ; but in 
later times they calculated by Olympiads, from the intervals of four years 
between the Olympic games, the commencement of which was fixed for the 
year B.C. 'j']6 ; while the Romans named the year from the reigning consul, 
and dated events from the building of the city, B.C. 753. Lastly, in genealogy 
we have tabular arrangements of the line of descent of different races, the 
connection between princely families, dynasties, etc.; and thus it becomes an 
auxiliary science to the study of history. 

The history of the world is arranged in the following divisions : (r) The 
old world, in which republican and despotic forms of government and heathen 
worship prevailed. (2) The middle ages, with their complicated feudalism, 
strict severance of the three classes of kings, lords, and commons, and the 
division of the community into defenders, teachers, and pioneers, including 
nobility, clergy, citizens, and peasants, and active influence of the papal and 
ecclesiastical hierarchy. This influence was broken by the Reformation 
(15 17), after the discovery of America (1492) and the development of arts 
and sciences had enlarged the limited intellectual range of the middle ages. 
(3) Through this arises the period of modern times, with the elevation of the 
citizen class, and the power of the princes, founded on standing armies, until 
the struggle for the loosening of these conditions of restraint, a longing for 
personal freedom, and for the recognition of inherent human rights, and 
constitutional struggles over the form of government, reaches its climax in 
the French Revolution (1789), and ushers in (4) the most recent times, whose 
chief tendency is directed towards the equalization of classes, the participa- 
tion of the people in public affairs, the recognition of national peculiarities 
in the constitution of the government, and the establishment of an equitable 
system of justice as the highest state principle. 






N'^toi'g of tfie (©n'eutal Nations?* 

Physical Features of Asia. — The Chinese Empire. — Indian Na- 
tions. — Babylonians and Assyrians. — Egyptians. — Phcenicians. 
— The People of Israel. — Medes and Persians. 

THROUGHOUT the vast region of Central Asia extends a broad elevated 
plateau, stretching with many undulations from the Black Sea to the 
Corea, spreading from east to west in a fan-like form, and separated from the 
surrounding lowlands by the Altai and other mountain ranges on the north, 
and on the south by the stupendous snow-peaks of the Himalaya mountains. 
This tableland is divided by the Hindookoosh mountains into a larger plateau 
on the east, and a smaller one on the west. It forms the heart of Asia, the 
lowland surrounding it being divided into five principal groups, among which 
rise up several smaller highlands, separated by mountains from the great ele- 
vated plain or steppe, and generally stretching far into the sea as peninsulas. 

'7 C 


Among- these, the Arabia-Syrian and Hindostan peninsulas are the chief. The 
mountain ranges of Asia, which form the north, south, and east boundaries of 
the central highland, are grouped around the following principal systems : — 

(i) The Taurus mountains, stretching in two directions through the whole 
of Asia Minor, and including Ararat, famous in sacred history. 

(2) The Imaus range, imperfectly known to the ancients, of which the 
Himalaya range, with the early dwelling-place of the human race on its slopes, 
abounding in domestic animals, corn, fruit, etc., was regarded as the eastern 
extension ; while at the western extremity stretched the Hindookoosh moun- 
tains, known since the time of Alexander's conquests by the name of the 
Indian Caucasus. 

(3) The lofty mountains of the Altai range, with its continuation on the east 
(Daurian) and on the west the Muztag and Thian-Shan, the Hyperborean 
mountains of the ancients. 

(4; The Ural mountains, forming the boundary of Asia and Europe north- 
east of the Caspian Sea. 

(5) The lofty, snow-covered Caucasus, between the Caspian and the Black 

(6) The Khingan mountains, which divide the Chinese lowlands from the 
great tableland. 

" In Asia," says the learned Greek, Hippocrates, "everything flourishes far 
more beautifully and on a larger scale. The land is more fertile than any 
other ; the people gentler and more vigorous ; animals are strong and fruitful; 
men handsome, well-built, and powerful, differing little from each other in 
form and feature, more peaceful in disposition, and less quarrelsome than 
Europeans, for the climate is more uniform, and contrasts are avoided ; whereas 
frequent change of temperature excites the passions of men and makes them 
fickle and variable." Only southern and western Asia, where civilized states 
have developed with advancing education and changing forms of government, 
such as India, Media, Persia, the provinces of Mesopotamia, Syria, Asia 
Minor, etc., are made the subjects of history ; the unchanging empire of 
China in the east, on the other hand, and the north, inhabited by \vander- 
ing nomad races (Scythians), which present only conditions of longer or 
shorter duration to the observation of the investigator — sometimes, as in China, 
with a superficial covering of civilization ; sometimes, as among the Scythians 
and Sarmatians, in naked, primitive barbarism — these have no history. The 
inhabitants of Egypt, though they belong to Africa, are generally classed 
with eastern nations, on account of their civilization and institutions, which 
are either Asiatic in origin, or at least approximate to the Asiatic in their 
principal features. 

Three things must especially be taken into consideration in studying 
Oriental nations : the nature of their religion ; their forms of constitution 
and government ; and their mode of life. 

On religion, as it concerns the relation between man and his Creator, 
the Oriental nations have ever pondered most deeply and earnestly, and 
have reached results exceeded by no other people. The East is the cradle 
of all religious systems, from the strictest monotheism founded on the 
most primitive traditions or on revelation, to a many-sided polytheism and 
philosophical pantheism. The essence of the two latter systems was the 
worship of the sun and stars, or the worship of nature with its many 
mysteries ; for as the Origin or First Cause, from which creation proceeds, and 
by which the universe is maintained in its ordered course, is incomprehensible; 



to the thinking mind, thoughtful men sought for symbols by means of which 
they imagined they migiit represent the Divine force, and accordingly chose 
sometimes the light and life-giving sun, the stars, and the heavenly constel- 
lations, sometimes the inner forces ruling mysteriously in nature. But in 
spite of this original similarity, the polytheistic and pantheistic religions, from 


the indefinltcness of their original conceptions, clothed themselves in different 
forms in every country ; and as the mass of the people could not grasp the 
idea conveyed by outward phenomena in the same way. so, from the variety 
of nature and the diversities of human life, the number of supernatural powers 
and forces which were venerated and invested with individual existence was 
infinitely multiplied. A religion of such a diverse character necessarily de- 


manded an imposing ceremonial and symbolical worship, and a numerous 
priesthood as depositaries and interpreters of the mystery of unity contained 
in the complex system ; and both these features we see developed to perfection 
in the East, where we find many religious observances that have reference to 
human life in its varied relations, and a priesthood powerful in the possession 
of superior knowledge, and exerting a great influence over government and 
people. The tendency to religious meditation, and the belief that man 
through penance and self-mortification approachea nearer to God, gave rise 
in the East to the practice of following the life of a hermit or anchorite. 

Commerce, the great lever of civilization, was, in eastern countries, united in 
the closest manner with religion and the priesthood ; and celebrated shrines 
and temples, with religious festivals, served as stations for the caravans and 
as commercial centres for the negotiations between merchants and traders. 

Forms of government in the East can be classed in three divisions : 
the national patriarchal government of a native chief, as among the nomads ; 
the aristocratic hierarchy of the privileged classes in states where caste 
prevailed ; and the unlimited despotism of military monarchies. The last- 
mentioned form — that was slowly developed out of the two other systems, 
which invested the ruler with the patriarchal omnipotence of the nomad 
chief, and the religious sanctity of the caste-king — became in time the only 
prevailing form ; and by reason of the passively obedient character of eastern 
nations, royal power easily usurped such a position, that the king was 
regarded with almost religious veneration. Compared with the despot, all 
his subjects appeared as slaves and bondmen, having no personal rights or 
possessions. The king disposed of the property, lives, and freedom of his 
subjects, according to his will and pleasure ; took and gave as he pleased ; and 
was only to be approached with abject crouching and prostration. Like the 
happy gods of antiquity, he lived in joy and plenty, surrounded by attendants 
ready to carry out his will and commands, and to minister to his pleasure ; 
and according to his disposition and mental tendency, he sometimes medi- 
tated on war and conquest, or sometimes devoted himself to luxury, ease, and 
the satisfaction of his pleasures and passions ; and more frequently believed 
the art of government to consist in fear, terror, and violence, than in justice 
and benevolence. Such governments, in which law and human rights had no 
meaning, and despotism and slavery were the only two conditions, possessed 
no vitality or enduring capacity for improvement. Thus all Oriental states 
have become the prey of foreign conquests, in which their early civilization has 
either been brought to a state of stagnation or utterly destroyed. All higher 
forms of government, especially all popular governments, had their origin in 
Europe. It has indeed most justly been asserted, that "the religious faculty 
has been manifested in Asia, the political in Europe ; in religion the European 
nations bow to the authority of Asiatic founders of religions ; in politics we 
perceive the evident superiority of the European state to the Asiatic king- 

In mode of life the character of the Orientals tends more to contem- 
plative repose, or quietism and enjoyment, than to active pursuits ; and for 
this reason eastern nations have never attained to freedom and self-govern- 
ment, but have either silently obeyed native rulers, or have groaned under 
the yoke of foreign conquerors. By virtue of their mental aptitude they 
quietly reached a certain grade of civilization, and then gave themselves up 
to indolent enjoyment, until they gradually sank into a condition of weak- 
ness and effeminacy. The institution of polygamy, peculiar to the East, 



lowered the honour and dignity of marriage, undermined the domestic 
morah'ty of family life and self-sacrificing energy, encouraged effeminacy, 
enervating pleasures and enjoyments, and stifled manly activity and warlike 
virtue, liven the art of the Orientals — marvellous as are the gigantic pro- 
portions of their buildings, and the patience and perseverance shown in their 
execution, and wonderful as are the technical skill and polished workmanship 
of the hardest materials in their carved figures — has yet never attained to the 
harmonious beauty, adaptability and symmetry shown in the designs of in- 
dependent nations ; and their poetry, though rich in feeling, imagination, and 
striking imagery, is wanting in the vitality and ideal humanity by virtue of 
wnich the creations of the Greeks stand forth as unrivalled models. 

in the sciences, which were almost the exclusive property of the priests, 
the eastern nations never advanced beyond the first elements, with the ex- 
ception of the study of the heavens, which was connected with their religious 
system ; and even the much-extolled products of their artistic and manufac- 
turing industry, indicate more the mechanical skill obtained through much 
practice, and retained by the compulsory laws of caste, and regulations that 
rendered industries hereditary in families, than the freely developed creations 
of ingenious minds and skilful hands. Thus did slavery hang like a mill- 
stone on every manifestation of life among the nations of the East. 




Early Civilization of the Chinese.— Prosperity. — Period of De- 
generation. — System of Government. — Agriculture Honoured. 
— Tea Cultivation and Silk Manufacture. — Porcelain. — Me- 
thod of Education. — Confucius the Philosopher, his Teachings 
AND Maxims. — Monosyllabic Language of the Chinese. 

LITTLE as the Chinese are fitted by disposition to be placed at the 
J entrance of historic life, in which indeed they have no part, they are 
yet, with reason, the first nation to be described ; because in general the 
developments of the human race have followed the course of the sun, and 
probably, therefore, the nations of the extreme East were the first to emerge 
from the condition of half-savage tribes ; and also because the Chinese, 
through their typical character and their stationary civilization, cannot be 
included in the full stream of the history of the world. They stand, as it 
were, in the ante- chamber, and after a short examination of their condition 
must be shut out from the hall of history. 

The immense Chinese empire, which is now governed by the Mongolian 
race of the Mandschu, has been from the earliest times inhabited by a people 
of Mongolian descent, who for thousands of years have maintained un- 
changed the same civilization and institutions. Very little authentic informa- 
tion can be obtained concerning the history of the Chinese, as they date the 
origin of their kings from a fabulous antiquity, and have invested every event 
with a vainglorious tissue of fabrication ; therefore the only reliable accounts 
of their characters and institutions are to be derived from European travellers. 
After the early mythical period, to which belonged the famous lawgivers 
and rulers Fo-hi, Yao, Gnum, and Yn, the emperor Wuwang established the 
Tshi-u dynasty, which possessed the Chinese crown till the middle of the 
third century before Christ. When this royal race degenerated, and the 
"celestial empire" was threatened with complete dissolution, the old imperial 
power was re-established with a despotic hand by the fierce and powerful 


TcIii-hoancT-ti, about 230, wlio caused all the sacred books which Confucius 
had compiled from old documents and traditions, to be destroyed, so that 
they had subsequently to be restored from some isolated fragments that had 
been preserved, with the aid of memory. This was accomplished through the 
Han dynasty (from 206 to 263), under which the Chinese empire attained its 
greatest strength and extension. In the seventh century China had its last 
period of prosperity under Tai-tsong, whose wisdom and virtue made him the 
cherished favourite of his people. After the extinction of his house, the Tang 
dynasty, the period of degeneration commenced, in the tenth century. The 
facts of Chinese history are singularly barren of interest ; the dry and 
monotonous relation of outward events, descriptions of insurrections, changes 
of dynasty, and court crimes, are embellished by no poetic treatment, 
enlivened by no popular element, and quickened by no human interests. 
Then, too, a " piercing note of sorrow " sounds through the whole history. 

The Chinese empire and people present the aspect of a nation moving 
according to a definite state system, and endowed to a degree with external 
civilization ; but this frequently over-estimated civilization and culture only 
brushes the surface, and is not so much the result of inward creative power 
and mental activity, as the product of long years of external practice and 
mechanical study, and has thus remained without any influence on the 
outer world. Everything is regulated in China according to fixed laws, 
ancient forms, and long-established custom ; freedom and self-reliance, the 
sources of all genuine civilization, are utterly unknown ; therefore there can 
be no progress in the national development. This want of an advancing 
civilization is partly the result of the obstinately conservative character of 
the people, partly because the country is surrounded by seas, mountains, and 
the lofty and long-drawn wall of China, which was built in the middle of 
the third century by Tchi-hoang-ti, to shut out the northern nomad tribes, 
the inhabitants thus being debarred from intercourse w^ith other nations, while 
all strangers are, as far as possible, excluded from the country; partly also 
it has its origin in the despotic, patriarchal form of Government. For the 
people are ruled by an emperor who wields unlimited power, and is de- 
signated by the awe-inspiring titles of " son of heaven " and " holy king," 
who, with the aristocratic class of mandarins, divided into nine different 
grades, keep the people firmly to established usages, treat them with great 
contempt and severity, and prevent them from imbibing any new ideas. As 
the Chinese have therefore been without any experience of foreign nations, 
they have remained, in spite of their early knowledge of astronomy, the mari- 
ner's compass, gunpowder, and a method of printing, and notwithstanding their 
wonderful activity and ingenuity, far behind other nations in point of civiliza- 
tion; and though from olden times they have been noted for their manufacture 
of fine porcelain and a kind of writing paper, besides weaving and carved 
work, even their industry and technical skill cannot compare with the industrial 
activity and intelligent workmanship of the cultured communities of the West. 
Agriculture — which is under the especial protection of the emperor, who 
himself undertakes the cultivation and ploughing of a certain portion of 
land — is the most ancient, honourable, and, according to the precepts of 
Confucius, sacred calling, and forms the regulating and civilizing element 
of Chinese national life. Through the introduction and development of 
agricultural pursuits, conquered territories were more closely and peacefully 
united with the Chinese empire, than would have been possible by warlike 


Next to cereal agriculture, which is seen flourishing in their extensive corn- 
and rice fields, gardens, etc., the cultivation of tea and the manufacture of 









silk are the chief pride of the nation, and the source of its largest revenues ; 
and while the emperor is the special protector and promoter of agriculture, 


the silk trade rejoices in the particular patronage of the empress. In the 
manufacture of silk and woollen fabrics the Chinese were in advance of all other 
nations. But in spite of their external civilization, mechanical skill, domestic 
industry, and mental shrewdness, the Chinese are but as a withered branch 
on the historical tree of life, " an embalmed memory, painted with hiero- 
glyphics, and swathed in silk." The education of the Chinese does not aim 
at the development of independent powers of thought, but only at the 
acquisition of the knowledge that their ancestors possessed and turned to 
profit ; and, therefore, while the understanding and practical wordly wisdom 
are awakened, and the memory is strengthened, the imagination, poetic in- 
stincts, and all the higher faculties and impulses, remain torpid and untouched. 
" Chinese thought remains in a modest region of mediocrity ; it neither scales 
the heights of human destiny, nor penetrates the depths of human investi- 
gation. The Chinese idea of striving after perfection had, accordingly, soon 
reached its goal, at which it made a complacent halt, and where it has re- 
mained at a standstill century after century." 

The method of education consists chiefly in mechanically learning by heart 
the instruction books prescribed by the Government; and these works, besides 
teaching the most indispensable subjects of education, inculcate particularly 
the lessons of morality, social virtues, obedience to parents and to the em- 
peror, respect for the law, and a desire for a peaceful, well-regulated life, free 
from all extremes. Great stress is laid on the study of music as tending to 
dispose the soul to harmony, and to lull angry passions to rest. The course 
of studies for official personages and judges is strictly prescribed, and is 
enforced by severe examinations, partly under the presidency of the emperor. 
While the officers of the state compose a hierarchy, strictly divided into classes, 
and throughout which obedience and subordination are rigidly enacted, the 
large and small towns, villages, etc, of this immense and over-populated 
empire, are arranged in a fixed order of graduation ; so that all independent 
municipal life of a community is a thing unknown, and the government is 
carried on by a strict system of centralization by means of secretaries and a 
host of inspectors, and resembles a complicated machinery in which wheels 
work within wheels. This method of education, life, and government has 
made the Chinese a cowardly and feeble race ; but though they are a slavish 
and cringing people, possessing neither independence, sense of honour, nor 
anything like loftiness of mental aspirations, they are yet imbued with the 
most complacent self-conceit, and look with intense contempt on other nations. 
Their language, which is not composed of letters, but of certain signs and 
characters each representing a separate idea, is so clumsy and difficult to 
understand, on account of this picturesque writing, that it requires many years 
of study to master even the art of reading it. 

As the founder of their literature as well as their religion, which is so inti- 
mately connected with the patriarchal form of government, and in which not 
the Being and worship of the Divinity, but maxims of duty and exhor- 
tations to philanthropy hold the first place, the Chinese venerate the ancient 
philosopher Confucius, 550 to 479 B.C., who collected and arranged the old 
doctrines, histories, and traditions, and thus gave steadfastness and durability 
to their doubtful origin. 

The teachings of Confucius are contained in four sacred books (Kings) : 
(i) Y-King, concerning religion and natural philosophy ; (2) Si-King, a 
treatise on customs and ceremonies ; (3) Tchi-King, a collection of national 
Chinese songs, full of charm, dignity, and beaut}', but without elevated fancy 



or sublimity ; (4) Tchu-King, a handbook of laws, morals, and state wisdom. 
Their religion, which is only regarded by the Chinese as a consciousness of 
moral obligation, consists partly in a number of ceremonies and superstitious 
observances, partly in moral and philosophical maxims. They have but a 
very limited conception of a divine, spiritual Being ; and the fulfilment of duty 
towards their fellow-creatures is the cardinal point of their religious faith. 

The curious monosyllabic language of the Chinese is marked chiefly by the 
varied intonation of the same words, which are half sung, half spoken. They 
have properly speaking no grammar, declension and conjugation being quite 
unknown to them. " The whole language of the Chinese comprises 450 
monosyllabic words, which by means of four different intonations with which 
they are pronounced, are brought up to a vocabulary of 1,203 word sounds. 
With this remarkable paucity of material, it must inevitably happen that the 
same word pronounced in equally the same way, has very different signifi- 
cations ; in the commonest words the number of ideas expressed amounts to 
thirty or forty." 



Ancient Nations of Asia. — The Aryans. — Wanderings of Nations. 
— The Vedas — Old Religions and Historical Records. — The 
Sanskrit Tongue. — The Aryans on the Ganges.— Conquest 
of the Inhabitants. — Introduction of Caste. — Foundation 
of Kingdoms. — Ancient Songs and Records. — The Mahabha- 
rata Epic. — The Ramajana. — The Aryans under the Rule of 
THE Brahmins. — Division of the Community into Castes. — 
Religion of the Brahmins. — Indian Laws and Government. — 
Buddha and Buddhism. — Later Civilization of India. 


|N the highland of Tibet, in the district round 
the source of the Djihun, or Oxus, and the 
Gihoon, or Jaxartes, in the days of hoary antiquity, 
a well-shaped, civilizable, nomad race, calling 
themselves " the excellent people " (Arya), were 
accustomed to pasture their horses and herds of 
cattle. When these people, following the wander- 
ing propensity innate in all shepherd tribes, 
quitted their home, one part of them settled in 
that region north of the Hindookoosh moun- 
tains called by the ancients Sogdiana, Bactria, 
Hyrcania, and Arachosia — and another part, con- 
tinuing their wanderings, crossed the south-western 
passes of these mountains, and took possession of 
the rich and fertile country on the shores of the 

The former, called Iranians, or the Zend-nation, developed in time a 
dualistic religion and civilization, wliich their conquerors, the Medcs and 
Persians, subsequently adopted. The latter, who were designated by the 
other nations of the Old World, from the name of their principal river, as Indi 
or Hindu, became the originators of that highly developed religious system, 




of those peculiar forms of government and law, and of that remarkable 
Sanskrit literature, the traditions and remains of which even now excite our 
interest and admiration. The aboriginal inhabitants, a dark-coloured race of 
barbarous habits and uncivilized way of life, were either exterminated or 
driven back into the woods by the Aryans, or were conquered and reduced to 
a condition of slavery. From the time of their immigration into the Indus 



territory, which was probably about three thousand years before our era, till 
the 15th century, the Arya dwelt in the land of the five rivers, as far as the 
sacred river Sarasvati. They were divided into numerous tribes, and under 
the rule of their elders, chiefs, and kings, led a settled pastoral and agri- 
cultural life, worshipping the sun-god Indra, the god of the firmament, the 
"all-embracing" Varunas, and the other powers of nature, with songs and 
sacrifices, and maintained their manly strength by combats and feuds among 


the tribes. Some of the primitive songs and incantations which were used 
at their religious festivals and sacrificial celebrations for the dead, have been 
preserved and handed down by oral transmission, and are contained in the 
oldest portions of the Vedas. The distinction of caste was not yet known ; 
every head of a family could approach the gods with prayer and sacrifice, only 
the solemn sacrificial celebrations, introduced by the kings for their tribes, were 
set apart to be performed by certain families of priests who were considered 
as peculiarly favoured by the divinity, and were highly honoured by the princes 
of the tribes. 

In their gradual spreading towards the south, the Aryans probably had 
already advanced as far as the mouth of the Indus, by the 13th or 14th cen- 
tury (B.C.), and had entered into commercial relations with the Egyptians and 
Phoenicians on the southern coasts. For the land of Ophir, where the Phoe- 
nician navigators embarked cargoes of gold, precious stones, apes, peacocks, 
sandal-wood, and ivory, was probably situated on the southern Indus. 

These patriarchal conditions, and the primitive worship of nature, are 
enlarged upon in the hymns of the most ancient part of the Vedas, — the 
Rigveda, a collection of sacred poems addressed to the different forces of 
nature. They are not entirely of a religious character, many of them being 
even light and playful in style. In common with the other books, the 
Rigveda, in course of time, was much enlarged by the priests, and the work 
was ultimately divided into three principal parts, namely, the Samhita, a 
collection of prayers and songs ; the Brahmana, which contained the most 
ancient laws of ritual, expositions of the language, legends, etc. ; and the 
Satra, which discussed the most important matters of religious faith, regula- 
tions concerning sacrifice, etc. The second and third books, the Sameveda 
and Jadschur, contain poems and forms of prayer ; while the most recent 
collection, the Atharaveda, may be regarded as the supplement of the 
Rigveda. The Vedas are written in the sacred Sanskrit tongue, now a dead 
language, of remarkable copiousness, range, and beauty of structure, which at 
a very early period was made the subject of grammatical investigation in the 
Brahmin schools. The declensions and conjugations of Sanskrit are more 
finished, rich, and varied than the Greek ; and its laws of euphony, its com- 
binations, and the wealth of its vocabulary, are marvellous ; while the re- 
markable resemblance of many of its forms to the Greek and other languages 
points to an inner affinity. 

The Aryans on the Ganges. — A second stage in the dev^elopment of the 
nation is marked by the conquest of the lowlands on the Jumna and the 
Ganges, about the 14th century before the Christian Era, when an heroic age 
of warlike deeds commenced, traditions of which have been preserved in the 
ancient national epics, Mahabharata and Ramajana, or connected with the 
names of a few princely races and rulers. In the narrow strip of country on 
the edge of the desert, where the sacred Sarasvati forms the boundary 
between the territory of the Indus and the Ganges, for centuries bloody 
battles were fought, before the Aryans obtained lasting possession of the 
blessed land. The black aboriginal population was not overcome without a 
great deal of hard fighting; being at length either exterminated, subjugated, 
or driven in scattered remnants into the woods and mountains. The subse- 
quent expeditions of the Aryans drove the earlier immigrants out of their 
hard-won dwelling-places farther towards the east. The result of this violent 
warfare was an entire transformation of habits and manner of life. Instead 
of the insignificant feuds and pillaging expeditions, for the acquisition of herds 



or pasture grounds, ^vhich had occurred on the Indus, military expeditions' 
were now undertaken, battles were fought, and martial deeds accomplished. 
The chiefs of the tribes became kings of hosts, with a warlike nobility at 
their side ; and the religious hymns to nature in the Vedas were superseded 
by heroic, martial songs, which in time became the origin of the great Indian 
epic. The final conquest of the primitive population was the origin of the 
introduction of the strict distinctions of caste. After the subjugation of 
the territory, the Aryan tribes founded different kingdoms. The Matsja, 
Curansana, and the Shepherd tribe, of Jadava, armed with their clubs, settled 
on the Jumna, and built the towns of Indraprastha and Mathura. In the 
regal city of Hastinapura, between the Jumna and the Ganges, dwelt the 
Pantschala, and a kindred tribe, the hero-race of the Kuru. Further east- 


wards, the Kogala founded the brilliant chief town Agodhja ; Varanasi, or 
Benares, was the seat of the Kagi ; and the Magadha and Videha established 
themselves on the lower Ganges. Palibothra, at the junction of the Cona and 
the Ganges, became subsequently a famous seat of ancient Indian culture and 

From the period of this conquest date the heroic legends and martial songs 
which form the origin and substance of the two great epic poems, the Maha- 
bharata and Ramajana. After they had been handed down for a long time 
by oral tradition, they were at last collected and arranged by an ingenious 
compiler into a complete work. This labour is said to have been undertaken 
in the case of the Mahabharata by Vjasa, while Valmiki is considered to have 
been the auhtor of the Ramajana. Both, like Homer, belong to the world of 
fable. As, however, each succeeding generation introduced new additions and 
interpolations, and endeavoured to adapt their inherited literature to ths 


mental and religious aspect of the time, the Indian epic has not only been 
increased by the addition of the episodes and events of many centuries, till it 
became a formless mass (the Mahabharata contains 100,000 slogas, or double 
verses), but it has also undergone many changes in language, form, and 
construction, and its inward meaning is not unfrequently disfigured. Its 
original warlike and heroic character was replaced, under the hands of the 
Brahmins, by religious and ecclesiastical theories, and it was endlessly 
prolonged by the interpolation of religious and moral precepts. Thus the 
description in the Mahabharata of the "great war" is interrupted by the 
famous discourse of Bhagavad Gita (religious song), in which Krischna 
dilates to Ardschuna, in eighteen verses, in sight of the fighting armies, on 
the most profound questions of religious philosophy and theological doc- 
trines, giving him precepts of human conduct. Also many other episodes 
and "Indian traditions," such as the " Nala and Dawajanti," so well known 
by various renderings, the idyl of the faithful Savitri, and so on, liave 
been interwoven into the Mahabharata epic, the leading subject of which 
is the " legend of the great war," or the struggle between the two kindred 
hero-races of Kuru and Pandava. Durjodhana, king of Hastinapura, the 
chief of the Kuru, first of all shared his kingdom with his relatives, the 
sons of Pandu, among whom Judhischthira and Ardschuna were the most 
conspicuous. Judhischthira, however, lost his kingdom and all his treasures 
to Durjodhana in a game of dice, whereupon the sons of Pandu withdrew 
to the forests, where they promised to remain thirteen years. Incited, 
however, by the crafty Krischna — who at a later period was known under 
the name of Govinda (the acquirer of cows), and whose martial deeds and 
intrigues with the shepherdesses were subsequently described in the half 
lyric, half dramatic poem of Gita Govinda — the Pandava broke their oath, 
and commenced the great war with the Kuru, into which all the Aryan 
tribes were soon drawn. The Kuru, among whom the most prominent 
figures are the old warrior Bischma, and the poetic Kama, at first had 
the advantage ; but in the end their adversaries conquered through the 
cunning and crafty stratagem of Krischna, who drove Ardschuna's chariot. 

While the ancient songs of Mahabharata breathe a warlike spirit, in which 
armed warriors " who never turned their backs in the field of battle, but died 
pierced through the breast," measured their strength against one another, 
in the Ramajana the passive virtues of fidelity, obedience, parental and 
conjugal affection take the chief position. Rama is a representation of 
virtue, in which the Indian system of ethics finds its most complete ex- 
pression, and in which knightly deeds appear purified and consecrated 
through the higher virtues of piety, faithfulness, and patient submission to 
destiny ; therefore the heroic legends of Ramajana also, evidently belong to 
a later period. Rama, the virtuous son of king Ajodhja, is deprived of his 
throne through the treachery of his step-mother, and retires to the woods 
with his wife Sita, who refuses to forsake him. There he fights with 
Rakschasa, the monster giant and demon of the south, and in consequence 
excites the wrath of the powerful giant-king Ravana, of Ceylon, who, out of 
revenge, carries off Rama's wife Sita to his own island. In order to rescue 
her, Rama allies himself with the apes, or wild men of the woods, imder 
which name, as well as under that of the Rakshasas, who disturb the pious 
works of the penitents, the wild tribes of the native population of the Deccan 
are to be understood. Assisted by Hanuman, the king of the apes, Rama 
passes over to Ceylon on a bridge of coral rock, and after a terrible encounter. 


he kills the giant-king Ravana, and rescues his faithful Sita. Meanwhile the 
fourteen years of banishment have expired, and Rama returns to Ajodhja, 
where he rules so happily and well that his reign inaugurates a golden age. 

As the conquest of the plains of the Ganges forms the historical subject- 
matter of the Mahabharata, the spreading of the Aryans towards the south- 
tirn peninsula is the leading theme in the Ramajana. For it can scarcely be 
doubted, from the primitive myths and remembrances of the first attempt 
to colonise the Deccan, and of the consequent warfare with the barbarous 
population, and from the traditions of the holy penitents and sages who 
assisted and furthered Rama's expedition, and afterwards erected shrines for 
pilgrimage at each place where his foot had rested, that the first peaceful 
spread of the Aryan religion and civilization, and the origin or the founding 
of future towns and kingdoms, is to be understood. Sita signifies "field- 
furrow," and Rama, " plougher of the land," which points clearly to the 
allegorical meaning. 

The Aryans under the Rule of the Brahmins. — These wars of conquest 
appear to have shaken and broken the national strength of the Indians. It 
was not difficult, therefore, when peace was restored, fof the ecclesiastical 
body to usurp the position of the now enfeebled military class, particularly 
as the enervating climate, and the extreme fruitfulness of the new possessions 
on the Ganges and the Jumna, were more favourable to a life of religious 
contemplation and peaceful industry, than to warlike agitation and martial 
strife. These circumstances, equally with the passive temperament of the 
people, aided the efforts of the Brahmins in bending the whole inward and 
outer life of the nation under the dominion of ecclesiastical law. The primi- 
tive, natural religion of the people was put aside in favour of the pantheistic 
teaching that set up Brahma as the soul of the world. The free develop- 
ment of power in the people was checked by strict demarcations and regula- 
tions of caste, in which the Brahmins assigned to themselves the first rank, 
and restrained the activity of life by endless ceremonial laws of ritual, 
services of purification, sacrifices, etc. By means of terrifying doctrines of 
future torture and punishment, they caused human life to assume a gloomy 
colouring, and all that was joyful and bright was repressed. An austere 
asceticism of penance and self-mortification, a subduing of the flesh, and 
renunciation of all earthly pleasure by a fancied ecstasy of contemplation of, 
and absorption in, the Divine attributes, was represented as the surest way 
of freeing the soul from the bonds of the world, and of journeying from a 
sorrowful earthly life back to the heavenly home. They succeeded in 
reducing to a formal system their narrow view of human life and destiny. 

According to the Vedas there were three distinct castes : the Brahmins, 
who came forth from Brahma's mouth ; the Kschatrijas, or warriors, who 
proceeded out of his arms ; and the Baisjas, or agricultural, commercial 
and manufacturing population, who sprang from his feet. These three classes 
are permitted to read the holy books (Vedas), to take part in sacrifices, and 
are held to be born a second time, or regenerated. The fourth caste consists of 
the Sudra, the black, subjugated, aboriginal inhabitants, who speak a different 
language, though conforming to the faith and customs of the Brahmins. They 
are despised and held in bondage, are shut out from the religious commu- 
nity, and not permitted to receive the consecration of the regenerate through 
the holy girdle. Slaves and servants are taken from this class, and they 
have now come to be the principal industrial and agricultural population of 
India. The Brahmins are looked upon as sacred and inviolable, and may 



not receive corporal punishment for any crime ; while on the other hand, any 
injury inflicted upon them can never be expiated, and has assigned to it the 
severest punishment here and hereafter. " To the Brahmin belongs the 
guardianship of religion, the reading and expounding of the Vedas, the offer- 
ing of sacrifices and prayers, the administration of the laws, the care of 
science and art, the guidance of kings ; and in all these relations he is to be 
the pattern of wisdom, justice, and purity of life." Accordingly, he can claim 
the same veneration accorded to the Divinity. The Kschatrijas, from among 
whom the kings were chosen, composed the warlike aristocracy, and under- 
took the protection of the country and the conduct of martial affairs. 


Possessed of great wealth, receiving considerable pay from the king, and fur- 
nished with arms and war material, they led a prosperous existence, enlivened 
by military exercise, hunting, and war songs. In opposition to the Baisjas, 
who boasted no ancestry, the priests and warriors composed the two first 

Besides these pure castes, to which those belong who can claim legitimate 
descent through equal marriages or pure castes, there were the mixed castes, 
which included both the primitive native Indians, who remained untouched 
by the Brahmin civilization, and the offspring of forbidden marriages ; and 
the number of these has so increased with time, that at the present day more 



than forty hereditary castes are existing side by side. The lowest and most 
despised class was that of the Tchandala, whose business it was to remove 
carcases and offal, and to execute criminals ; they are also called Pariahs, and 
are treated with boundless contempt. " They are never allowed to live in 
towns and villages, or even in their neighbourhood ; everything that they touch 
is considered unclean, even flowing water upon which their shadow has fallen ; 
and even to look at them is considered pollution. If they appear in the high- 
ways when Brahmins, or the attendants of Brahmins pass by, they are pursued, 
attacked, and chased away like wild animals, that none may be polluted by 
breathing the same air with them." It is an ascertained fact that our 
gipsies are descended from a branch of this Pariah race. If, on the one hand, 
this strict severance of classes, according to inherited position or calling, 
resulted in the preservation of national characteristics and the increase of trade 
and agriculture, it has on the other promoted the enslavement of the people 
and the oppression of the lower by the higher classes. 

The religion of the Indians is the system of emanation, which teaches that 
the whole visible and invisible world proceeds from the Divine Being, and 
after a long interval returns to him again. The chief feature of their religion 
is the doctrine of transmigration of souls, or metempsychosis. According to 
this theory the human soul is only united with the earthly body to expiate 
deeds done in a former existence, and its aim and endeavour is reunion with 
the divine world-soul. Therefore the Indians regard earthly life as a period 
of punishment, probation, and trial, which man can only shorten through vir- 
tuous conduct, prayer and sacrifices, penances and mortification, or through 
" meditative, ascetic life, rejoicing in the contemplation of the divinity, and 
endeavouring to keep himself unspotted from the polluted world." If a man 
neglects this self-purification, and through separation from God falls deeper 
into sin, his soul, when he casts off the " worn-out garment of the body," 
passes, according to the sentence of the judges of the dead, into another body, 
often into a lower one, as that of an animal, and is compelled to begin its 
wandering anew ; while the soul of the good man, the hero or penitent, passes 
upward through the stars to be united for ever with the Divine Being from 
whom it first went forth. In the earliest times, while the Indians still tarried 
in the land of " the five streams," they worshipped the powers of nature, in 
Indra, the God of heaven, who ruled over sunshine and rain, the rosy dawn, 
and the sighing wind ; Agni, the god of fire and light ; and Baruna, the ruler of 
the ocean and of boundless space. Besides these symbolical beings, to whom 
the Indians offered sacrifices, and who represented the life of nature in its 
threefold aspect of growth, existence, and decay, there was also a mysterious 
divinity entitled Brahma, who was worshipped with sacrifices, prayer, ar^d 
religious songs, who held sway over the gods of nature, compelled them to 
submission, and caused the sacrifices to prosper. When the Indians gave 
themselves up to an inactive life of contemplation in the luxuriant country 
of the Ganges, the conception of Brahma as the world-soul and inspirer of all 
existence became the chief feature of their religion, while Indra and the 
other gods of nature took the subordinate rank of tutelary divinities. In the 
further development of their religion, the Indians reached the doctrine of 
incarnation, in which the original divinity Brahma, the ideal world-unity, 
assumed the threefold personality of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, and finally 
Vishnu himself appeared on earth from time to time, in human form (as Rama, 
Krischna, etc.), to regulate the world when it had gone astray, and to re- 
establish the sway of holy customs and of the eternal law of right. 



The three principal gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, were only brought by- 
later philosophers into a certain relation with each other. Originally they were 
three principal spirits, worshipped as the highest divinities by different tribes 
in different parts of India. Brahma signifies literally the great, the mighty 
being, in whom everything has its origin, and to whom ever)'thing returns. 
Vishnu is also a personal manifestation of the divinity ; the name signifies 
either the " all- pervading," or the protector, guardian (from the root vi, and the 
forming syllable shu, which becomes changed into slum on account of the 
vowels). The worship of Siva, which originated in the northern part of India, 
was properly the religion of the natives, and was of a barbarous and uncivil- 
ized character. The name Siva signifies in Sanskrit " happy " or "shining." 


Indian Lazvs and Government. — Not only did the Brahmins assert their 
authority in the province of faith and religion, investing it with a peculiar 
spiritual character, but they endeavoured to lay a spell upon all affairs of 
government or administration, and to bring the whole civil life into the range 
of their contemplation, and to rule it according to their precepts. They 
finally succeeded in establishing a code of laws which they declared to have 
been derived from Manu, and pretended to rest upon divine inspiration ; and 
this book was to be followed throughout all the Indian states, and by means 
of a severe royal despotism, founded in the dominion of officials and police ; 
the people were to be kept in obedience and a docile state of submission. 
As the kings, who belonged to the warrior caste, were invested with unbounded 


authority by Manu's code of laws, the Brahmins, in return for this assistance 
in the maintenance of despotism, succeeded in obtaining all kinds of privi- 
leges for tliemselves ; their property was free from taxes, they formed the 
council of the king, and directed his decisions regarding the course and ad- 
ministration of justice. The Indian nation never united in a common bond, 
but as the different castes remained separated, and without any common 
interests among themselves, the Indian kingdom became split up into a 
number of larger or smaller states without any outward connection with each 
other. The separated kingdoms again consisted of a number of unconnected 
village and town communities, only being united into districts for the sake of 
taxation and supervision. Taxation was so oppressive that it amounted to 
extortion. Not only was a considerable tax levied on the natural products 
of the soil, but trade and commerce were also restricted by the imposition of 
dues and customs, and day-labourers and workmen were compelled to work 
one day in the month gratuitously. 

In addition to these there were poll-taxes, and so-called voluntary gifts. 
These political and social regulations were not calculated to lead the minds of 
the Indian people to the consideration of public affairs. They turned away 
from the miserable reality of a terrible despotism which, united with an 
oppressive taxation and official brutality, repressed every element of gladness 
and suspiciously watched every mental development, and sought their happi- 
ness and consolation in the world of faith, fancy, and dreams. 

Manu's code of laws contains : (i) the precepts of the Vedas ; (2) the habits 
of the good ; and (3) the teachings and injunctions of the priests and wise men 
of antiquity. The whole is divided into twelve books, and in its present form 
it dates from the 7th century before Christ. The kings were compared in 
it to the gods. Brahma was declared to have created the king by taking 
a portion of the bodily substance of all the eight gods, Surja, Indra, Baju, 
Jama, Baruna, Agni, Tschandra, and Ruvera, who were then united in the 
king's person. 

BraJnninisni mid Buddhism. — During their peaceful, monotonous life on 
the shores of the Ganges, the Brahmins devoted themselves more and more to 
speculations as to the relationship of the world to Brahma. They separated 
mind from matter, soul from body, and while they ascribed real existence only 
to the supernatural, and regarded absorption in Brahma as the aim of life, 
they indulged in fantastic theories as to the unreality of the world of phe- 
nomena, and the divine all-satisfying stream of life. They far preferred a 
peaceful contemplation, and a calm meditation, to the use of the mental and 
physical powers for the general welfare of mankind, and withdrew in haughty 
pride from all intercourse with the lower classes of the community. By means 
of a slavish observance of innumerable regulations, rules, and precepts regard- 
ing every event of existence; by means of penances, self-mortification, outward 
sanctity without moral elevation, abstinence from animal food (the result of 
the doctrine of metempsychosis), and the renunciation of every sensual 
gratification, the Brahmins endeavoured to solve the problem of existence, 
and to fit themselves for participation in the eternal rest of their god Brahma. 
Thus it was that the Indians on the Ganges completely estranged themselves 
from real and active existence, — that the " world of imagination became their 
country, and heaven their home." 

The speculations of the Brahmins at last reached such a pitch, that all 
real and practical life was threatened with destruction, when Buddha, the 
" awakened " (died B.C. 540), the son of the king of Kapilavastu, on the slopes 



of the Himalaya, became the founder of a new system, which soon made rapid 
progress, and powerfully influenced Oriental thought. Buddha destroyed 
with a powerful blow the Brahmin system of the world, denied Brahma and 
all his company of gods, refused to allow any sanctifying power to the Vedas, 
recommended in place of a cruel asceticism, a religion of benevolence, com- 
passion, and human love towards all created things, and broke down the arro- 
gant distinctions of caste by the doctrine of human equality. But, confined 
within the narrow bounds of Indian thought, he likewise considered the rightful 
aim of earthly existence to lie only in the mortification of all the appetites and 
passions, and in the leading of a deedless life of passive virtue. liuddha 
renounced his high position, put on the garments of a beggar, withdrew to the 
solitude of the woods, where, amidst the severest penance and sclf-castigation 
he sought for eternal truth. When at last inspiration came to him, he came 
forth as a teacher and founder of a religious system ; but unlike the Brahmins 
who lived retired in the solitude of the 
deserts, he journeyed through the country 
of the Ganges, followed by a few disciples, 
and proclaimed his doctrine of earthly 
sorrow and its cure. He did not, like the 
lirahmins, appeal to the higher classes 
alone, but to all the people without distinc- 
tion, to the " regenerate " as well as the 
Sudra and Tchandala ; he taught a law of 
" mercy for all," and consequently power- 
fully attracted the down-trodden and op- 
pressed, who hoped that through him they 
might obtain release from the bonds of 
caste constraint and from the slavery re- 
sulting from low birth. The doctrine of 
the equality of all men, the hope of an 
eternal rest and ultimate dissolution in 
Nirvana, through a life of virtue and 
human love, and the deliverance from the 
fantastic s\'stems and pharisaism of the { 
arrogant Brahmins, created a powerful 
impression. Faithful disciples, clad like 
their revered master in a beggar's yellow 
dress, quickly spread his teaching through 
the whole country, from the Himalaya to Ceylon, and large memorial halls 
(Stupas) with monastic edifices for those devotees who renounced the world 
(Bhikshu) arose in great numbers. 

The Brahmins beheld the increasing spread of Buddha doctrines with great 
apprehension. They endeavoured to counteract the new creed by trying to 
bring their own religious system, through the doctrine of the Incarnation, into 
greater harmony w^ith the people and practical life, by recasting the ancient 
national epic in this sense, and enlarging it by the addition of the thoughtful 
discourse Bhagavad-Gita. Buddhism had the greatest influence on the de- 
velopment of Indian art and industry. The dome-shaped stupas, usually 
called by Europeans pagodas, which the Buddhists erected as memorials over 
the divided fragments of their master's remains, which were venerated as 
relics, suggested to the followers of Brahma the idea of building temples and 
habitations to their gods also, and adorning these buildings with statues and 



symbols. Thus arose the still-admired rock temples and grottoes of Ellora, 
Salsette, Elephanta, etc. But neither in caste distinctions, asceticism, or 
ceremonial worship and sacrifice, would the Brahmins allow any change ; 
therefore their attempts to banish Buddhism were unsuccessful. Several 
kings even, especially Agoka, professed the new faith. At last the Brahmins 
succeeded in organizing bloody persecutions against their opponents, which 
soon assumed a fearful violence, and resulted in the final extermination of the 
Buddhists in Lower India with a few exceptions. Of the intensity of this 
persecution, which is believed to have reached its climax in the 6th century 
after Christ, the following royal command bears witness : " From the bridge 
to the snowy mountains, whoso slayeth not the Buddhists, old men and 
children alike, shall himself be slain I " The bridge here mentioned refers to 
the straits of Ceylon and the Deccan, and the snowy mountains are the 
heights of the Himalaya; the persecution therefore extended throughout the 
whole of India. 

But what Buddhism lost in followers here was soon regained in an over- 
whelming degree by its great extension throughout Ceylon, Tibet, China, 
and other countries ; only in its transmission it embodied foreign elements, 
and through adapting itself to strange conceptions of religion, took the first 
steps towards the degeneration in which we now see it. The religious system 
of the Buddhists also included a crowd of god-like beings and saints, their 
doctrine degenerated into a wild, extravagant mysticism, their religious 
writings multiplied indefinitely, their worship took the form of an ostentatious 
but superficial ceremonial conducted with festive pomp, and the teaching of 
the meritoriousness of an ascetic priesthood, and an indolent Bikshu life in the 
religious convents of Vihara, originated an imperious and powerful hierarchy. 

According to Buddha's philosophy, the threefold world, namely, the ethereal 
and formless, the Avorld of spiritual forms, and the material world, all had their 
origin in Nirvana, the void, the space, that brings forth and receives again 
into itself all created things. His doctrine proclaimed " that the destiny of 
this life is strictly fixed and regulated by the actions of an earlier existence ; 
that no wicked deed remains unpunished, no good deed unrewarded. From 
this fate, which compels man to undergo the process of the transmigration of 
his soul, he can only escape by directing his every thought to deliverance from 
this destiny to transmigration, remaining faithful to this aim, and persevering in 
strictly virtuous action, whereby he at last gets rid of all his passions, which 
were regarded as the strongest fetters in the prison of transmigration, and 
attaining the desired goal of rest, is born again no more. The diminution 
of the pains of earthly life by virtuous conduct and actions of charity, and the 
delivery of the soul from the torments of renewed life by the return to Nirvana, 
is therefore the aim and object of Buddhist teaching. The numerous priests, 
regarding a contemplative, inactive existence as holy and meritorious, with- 
drew themselves from practical life and intercourse with the people, estab- 
lished orders and monasteries like the Christian monks, and sought by a life 
of celibacy, by an abnegation of every enjoyment, surrender of all earthly 
possessions, and observance of many superstitious rites, prayers, etc., to reach 
the state of holiness. 

The Buddhist priesthood is most numerous in Tibet, where half the popu- 
lation, and the divinely venerated spiritual and temporal chief, Dalai-Lama, 
belong to it. It became the custom to enclose Buddhist relics in costly 
caskets, over which monuments were erected, generally in the form of a 
cylinder surmounted by a dome. It is said that king Agoka, of Magadha 


(B.C. 250), caused the eiglit monuments or stupas, which orig-inally contained 
Buddha's remains, to be opened, with the exception of one at Ramagra, and 
the seven httle heaps of relics to be divided into 1,200 parts each, making 
84,000 parts in all, which were separately enclosed in precious caskets and 
distributed in 84,000 towns and villages of his empire, and over each casket 
a monument was erected, beside which a convent was built. Every place 
that had been consecrated by the master's presence was distinguished by the 
building of some memorial, adorned with representations of Buddha himself, 
and with characteristic inscriptions and formularies. This endeavour to do 
homage to Buddha and his saints by the erection of monuments and 
memorial representations, gave a great impetus to Indian art and architecture, 
and excited the emulation of the Brahmins. Mention has been made of 
temples at Ellora, Salsette near Bombay, and on the island of Elephanta, 
where shrines and grottoes have been carved in the rocks for miles, still 
exciting the admiration of travellers, and testifying to the immense power 
of the priesthood, and the devoted efforts of the working population in the 
cause of religion. The sacred monuments at Ellora are particularly remark- 
able. They are composed of grottoes and temples which have been hewn 
in a rocky semi-circle of the mountains, more than a league in extent, and 
are covered with sculptured figures, and artistic decorations, 'representing an 
amount of skilled work that can only have been executed within an immense 
space of time. 

The Later Civilization of India. — When, through the expedition of Alex- 
ander the Great, India was brought into closer contact with the civilized 
world of Greece and Western Asia, Indian life had already reached the point 
where creative activity becomes extinct. The speculative and contemplative 
spirit had created a number of systems, and imported them into daily life ; 
now it reposed, wearied out, and left to posterity its marvellous forms as 
lasting models for inner and outer life. Indeed, religious conceptions in the 
course of years experienced many changes, and under the influence of Greek 
genius, science and art were greatly promoted, and the trade, industry, and 
commerce of India received a powerful impetus from intercourse with the 
civilized states of the Alexandrian period. Yet the productive power was 
exhausted, and the original forms of life remained unchanged. Then 
occurred that stagnation and mental stupor, which sooner or later overcomes 
every Oriental nation — the curse of despotism and caste restrictions. All 
the new creations of literature and philosophy were but continuations and 
expansions of old lines of thought. Forms of religion and worship fell more 
and more asunder, divisions of sects increased in the same way as the 
distinctions of caste ; and polytheism prevailed to such a confusing extent 
that the original unity of the Brahma world was completely lost sight of 
To this period of party strife belong the Puranas, a series of theological and 
philosophical homilies, ceremonial and ascetic precepts, legends, etc., which in 
their present form scarcely date beyond the eleventh or twelfth century, but 
have probably been borrowed from older records. On the other hand, certain 
branches of knowledge were zealously fostered and promoted. Thus grammar 
early attained high development, and formed the chief subject of Ikahmin 
education, and astronomy prospered under the influence of the Chaldeans 
and Greeks, who probably also introduced the knowledge of the Zodiac into 
India ; medicine was the object of special study, and algebra and the system 
of decimal calculation originated in India, and thence spread by means of 
the Arabs to Europe. 



For historical life the Brahmins had little taste, yet the annals of the 
Buddhists are not without merit. The Indians of a later period have also 
made some magnificent contributions to poetry ; and the drama, which, in 
combination with music and dancing, was known to the Indians at an even 
earlier period, attained under the influence of the Greeks to a high pitch of 
excellence. The graceful story of Sakontala, or the magic ring, by the poet 
Kalidasa, who lived in the second century of the Christian era, excited such 
immense admiration when it first appeared in an English version, that it was 
soon translated into all the languages of Europe. The animal fable also, and 
its expansion in the animal epic, was already known in India in Macedonian 
times. Through the medium of the Greeks, Persians, and Arabs, Indian 


tales and fables made their way to Europe. Many of our most familiar fables, 
and a large proportion of the Arabian tales in the Thousand and One Nights, 
originated, so far as their incidents are concerned, in the land of the Indus. 
Dancing, " the representation of the restless, whirling, fantastic life of earth," 
formed an important part of later Indian worship ; and public dances, called 
Bajaderin, were introduced at religious festivals. Industry and commerce, for 
which the Brahmfns cared little, and which they handed over entirely to the 
Baisja, received in time a considerable impetus, — the only good result of caste 
regulation. Shut out from the higher intellectual life, and free from outward 
distractions, the Baisja devoted their whole energies to the labour of their 
hands, and transmitted their artistic skill to their successors. They invented 



the art of tempering iron into steel, and their metal work in bronze, gold, and 
silver had already aroused the admiration of the Greeks. Indian textures of 
■cotton, wool, and even silk were noted among the ancients, and the people also 
possessed great skill in the setting of precious stones. Not less remarkable 
was the development of inland trade and navigation, partly through the 
despotism of the king, who promoted trading transactions to satisfy his love 
of splendour and luxury, and partly to increase his revenues by the imposition 
of customs. Trading routes and marts were established, and seaports for 
foreign commerce were opened. Large wagons and caravans transported the 


precious commodities of the country, gold, precious stones, sandal-wood, 
saffron, incense and ointments and the pearls of the sea, as well as the 
products of art, industry, silken tissues, purple and coloured stuffs, and metal 
instruments, to distant towns, or to the sea coasts for further consignment ; 
and the trading communities, with their corporate rights and extended 
business intercourse, soon amassed great wealth, which not unfrcquently 
excited the avarice of their kings and governors. 

But of what avail were all natural gifts and artistic skill to the Indian 
people } Enslaved by caste restrictions and despotism, tortured by the fear 
of transmigration and the pains of hell, ground down by the penances and 
precepts of a pharisaic religion, separated through the dismemberment of the 



country into a number of states and communities with no common bond of 
union, they needed the animating and elevating sentiments of love of country 
and freedom. Cowardly and unwarlike, they became the prey of every con- 
queror who set his iron foot upon their necks, and bowed in sullen resignation 
to every foreign yoke. They preserved, however, with a tenacious obstinacy 
and haughty contempt for other nati-ons, all the regulations and institutions 
they had inherited from their ancestors, and regarded every attempt to free 
them from their superstitious and horrible customs, as a malicious encroachment 
on their sacred rights. Not even the old custom of imposing on a widow the 
tragic duty of following her dead husband into the kingdom of death by 
a voluntary sacrifice of herself in the flames, has up to the present time been 
entirely abolished. Endowed with entrancing natural beauties and inexhaus- 
tible wealth, India has ever been esteemed the land of prodigy. It has there- 
fore been at all times the aim of foreign expeditions of conquest, and bold 
enterprises, while it has remained the charmed country of poetry, myths, 
and legends. 



The Country of the Tigris and Euphrates. — Shinar. — The 
Babylonian Kingdom. — Nimrod, Ninus, and Semiramis. — 


— Destruction of Niniveh. — Grand Ruins of Ancient 
Babylonian Cities. — Layard's Researches. — The Chaldeans. — 
Successors of Nebuchadnezzar. — Babylonish Worship. — 
Astronomy. — Present Condition of the Babylonian Country. 







TN the fruitful country watered by the Tigris and 
■*- Euphrates, and the verdant terrace-land (the land 
between the rivers) of Mesopotamia, there formerly 
dwelt in ancient times the Semitic nations, and 
among them the Babylonians and Assyrians. The 
primitive population, who from the time of the great 
flood had led an agricultural or a pastoral life in 
the legendary river district, were probably at an early 
period subdued by the Chaldeans, a people dwelling 
in the mountainous regions of Armenia. For it is 
not unlikely that " a part of the Chaldean nation, 
from the rocky heights of Armenia, followed the 
course of the streams down to the centre of the river 
country; and a portion of them, making their way 
onwards towards the south, possessed themselves of 
the fruitful country round the lower course of the 
Euphrates (Shinar). From this region warlike chiefs 
of the powerful mountaineers probably subjugated 
the ancient inhabitants of the plains, and founded the great kingdom, of 
which Babel was the capital, and whose monarchs were called Chaldean 
kings." As the founder of the Babylonian kingdom, with its square built 
capital, Babylon, on the Euphrates, Nimrod is mentioned (2100 B.C.), who is 
entitled, " a mighty hunter before the Lord." A hundred years later, Ninus 







(2000), king of old Assyria, is said to have established the great cosmopolitan 
city of Nineveh, on the Tigris, and conquered old Babylonia, with Armenia, 
Media, and other countries. The wife of Ninus, Semiramis, renowned 
by many legends, who after the murder of her husband assumed the reins 
of government, is described as a spirited, warlike woman, who advanced 


triumphantly as far as India, adorned Nineveh and Babylon with splendid 
buildings and pleasure gardens, and enriched the country with fine roads, 
canals, etc. 

According to legendary accounts, Semiramis was the embodiment of the 
distinguishing characteristics of eastern people, possessing masculine boldness. 



womanly beauty, and a love of cruelty united with the most luxurious volup- 
tuousness. After she disappeared in an unknown manner from the earth, the 
kingdom of Assyria gradually deteriorated under the rule of her son Ninyas, 
and his effeminate, incapable successors, until, in the ninth century before Christ, 
the degenerate race of Semiramis was overthrown by Beletaras, the intendant 
of the royal gardens, and after prolonged internal warfare, the throne of 
Nineveh came into the hands of another princely house. Under its new 
rulers the Assyrian nation acquired fresh vigour. Warlike kings turned their 
armies toward the West, and conquered the Syrian territory near Lebanon 
and the Mediterranean. After Phul, about 770 B.C., had made tributary "the 
kingdom of the ten tribes," Ephraim or Samaria, and had carried off large 
treasures from the country, his successor, Tiglath Pilesar (740), conquered 


the magnificent city of Damascus, and imposed a heavy tribute on the king 
of Judah ; and again, later, the renowned warrior Salmanassar, about 720, 
subdued the fertile coast of Phoenicia as far as the boundaries of Egypt, 
and carried off the population of the conquered country of Samaria into the 
interior of his own kingdom. His successor, Sennacherib (712), threatened 
Judah with a similar fate; but sudden mischances necessitated his hasty 
retreat to Nineveh, where he soon afterwards met his death at the hands of 
his sons. " And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of 
Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with 
the sword." But his son Esarhaddon (675-626) revenged his father's death 
and drove his unnatural brothers out of the country. 

After the death of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, the kingdom of Nineveh 
began to degenerate, and the Median king, Kyaxares, formed a plan with 




Ornamental frieze ; a painting from the ruins of Khorsabad. Wall painting representing lions, from Khorsabad. 

Winged Bulls, with human heads, crowned with 
ti.iras, ornamenting the portal of the palace at 

A King in his hunting chariot, 
from Nimroud. Storming of a 

King Senn.icherib on 
his throne. Sculpture from 


Vases ol glass and alabaster, from Nimroud, with the name Sargon inscribed on them in cuneiform characters. 
Vessel of glazed pottery found at Babel. Drinking vessel of bronze, with animal's head. 


Nabopolassar, of Babylon, to fit out an armed expedition for the re-conquest 
of the country. They set out with large armies for the capital, Nineveh, 
but were repulsed by the last king, Sardanapalus (620-606), who, in spite of his 
proverbial voluptuousness and luxurious love of pleasure, displayed great 
courage in this desperate struggle, until the flooding of the river demolished 
part of the wall of the city, and so facilitated the ingress of the enemy. 
When Sardanapalus despaired of escape, he caused the royal citadel to be 
set on fire, and was by his own act burned to death in the midst of his wives 
and treasures. Thus Nineveh was razed to the ground (606), and the two 
conquerors divided the kingdom of Assyria between them. " Nineveh is laid 
waste," cried the prophet Nahum ; "all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap 
the hands over thee ; for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed con- 
tinually ? Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria : thy nobles shall dwell 
in the dust : thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man 
gathereth them." " How is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to 
lie down in ! " says Zephaniah, " every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and 
wag his hand," 

The account of the effeminacy and incapability of Sardanapalus, under 
whom Assyria was destroyed, and that of the masculine character of Semiramis 
who founded the kingdom, are derived from a mixture of mythical, religious, 
and historical traditions. Some scattered accounts of antiquity give a fabu- 
lous picture of the greatness and splendour of the old city of Nineveh, which 
is said to have surpassed all eastern cities in extent, in the height and breadth 
of its walls, and number of its palaces and houses. And the grand ruins of 
costly, splendid buildings, with elegant sculpture, and cuneiform inscriptions ; 
long sacrificial processions of slender forms with well-curled beards and 
womanly garb in bas-reliefs, and wondrous winged figures of high technical 
perfection, — which have been brought to light in recent excavations on the 
right bank of the Tigris, near the villages of Nimroud, Kouyunjik, etc., prove 
the correctness of these estimates, and testify to the warlike deeds, the ex- 
peditions of conquest, and regal power of the ancient rulers, as well as to the 
artistic skill, luxury, and culture of the inhabitants of the Assyrian capital. 

Layard considers the ruins of Nimroud, Kouyunjik, Khorsabad, and 
Karamles, which form a long quadrangle, to be portions of one and the same 
city, and the remains correspond perfectly with the dimensions attributed by 
Diodorus to the city of Nineveh. These four mounds of ruins were, in his 
opinion, palaces, each of which occupied the centre, of a particular quarter. 
" Every quarter was at one time a royal residence, surrounded by walls and 
fortresses, and containing besides habitable dwellings, hunting grounds, and 
gardens. The space between was taken up with private houses, which 
stood in the midst of trees, gardens, and corn-fields. The most ancient 
portion was apparently near the point where the Zab flowed into the Tigris, 
where the present village of Nimroud stands. The small, intervening private 
residences must have speedily fallen to decay ; for during the last few years 
not a trace of them has been seen, though a labourer scarcely ever draws his 
plough through the furrows without turning up some vestige of the primitive 
habitations. The size of Nineveh has probably not been exaggerated ; the 
separation of women in special habitations in itself necessitating a great 
number of houses. But the number of the population, as in the case of 
Eastern cities generally, was not proportionately the same as in European 

T/ie Chaldeans. — From that time the Chaldeans had the ascendency, 


particularly durlnf^ the reign of the son of Nabopolassar, the warlike and 
powerful Nebuchadnezzar (604-561), who conquered the Egyptian king 
Necho, at Circesium (Karchemis), on the Euphrates, gained possession of the 
island-town of Tyros, made the Phoenician and Syrian territories tributary. 


brought the kingdom of Judea, with the chief city Jerusalem, under his 
dominion, and scattered the inhabitants. After he had subjugated all the 
country from the Tigris to the Mediterranean Sea, Nebuchadnezzar enlarged 
and beautified the town of Babylon, and erected citadels and buildings which 




bear comparison with even the works of the Egyptians. For the overflow he 
had a large reservoir made in tlie upper part of Babylon, built a new town 
and palace on the eastern side of the Euphrates, and secured and adorned 
the whole with high walls, and numerous towers, gates, and temples. He also 
erected, in honour of his Median wife, handsome terraces, or the so-called 
*' hanging gardens of Semiramis," one of the seven wonders of the world. 
The noble trees and bowery walks were to compensate his queen for the 
wooded mountain home she had quitted. But the grandeur of Babylon soon 
declined under Nebuchadnezzar's luxurious and effeminate successors. Evil 
times came over the land, which caused the name of the great despot to 
shine with a halo in the eyes of succeeding times. A generation later the 
Medes became the ruling nation, and they in turn were succeeded by the 


Babylon, "the proud ornament of the Chaldeans," was built on both shores 
of the Euphrates, and surrounded by a lofty wall, which is supposed to have 
been forty or even fifty miles in circumference. The two royal palaces on the 
banks of the river, and the lofty, four-cornered tower of the sun-god Baal, or 
Belus, which was richly ornamented with gold and statuary, rising in pyramid 
form to a great height, were, next to the hanging gardens, the most remark- 
able objects. The magnificence of the court gave a great incentive to in- 
dustry, and to the manufacture of fine woven goods, costly carpets, etc. 

The worship of the sun and stars led the Babylonian priests to the study 
of astronomy. They calculated the course of the sun, and divided the year 
into twelve months, according to the signs of the zodiac ; they fixed the 
course of the planets, dedicated to them the seven days of the week, and 
offered sacrifices " to the planet houses, and to all the hosts of heaven." 



They also indulged in speculations in astrology, believing they could read 
the will of the gods in the heavenly constellations, and could foretell destiny 
from the position of the stars at the hour of a man's birth (horoscope) ; and 
from the changing aspect of the planets they thought to discover the propitious 
time for an undertaking. The first fixed system of weights and measures, 
as well as the rudiments of geometry and the art of medicine, have been 
ascribed to the Chaldeans, and from them spread to other Eastern nations, 
and even to the Greeks. 

Of the condition of Babylon of to-day travellers give dreary descriptions. 
"At the present time this noble country lies almost uncultivated and useless 
under the savage, destructive power of Turkey, and the old garden of God has 
become a wide field for plunder; but old ruins of great cities and boundary 
walls with the canals and system of irrigation, show what prosperity once existed 
here." " More through the gradual diminution of its prosperity and popula- 
tion after it had lost its own kings, and was compelled to serve foreign rulers, 
than through conquest by enemies, Babylon was destroyed, and the splendour 
of its superb buildings sank into ruin." Already in the 4th century of our 
era, we are told by St. Jerome that wild animals dwelt within the walls, as the 
fulfilment of the prophecy of the prophet (Isa. xiii.) ; and even to this day 
the footstep of the wanderer among these ruins startles the wild animals. The 
masses of stone, fallen masonry, and great heaps of rubbish which here 
present themselves to view, are destitute of the traces ot high splendour still 
found in many ruins, but are gigantic enough to leave the inquiring traveller 
no doubt that he is on the spot where once stood the world-famed Babylon, 


l^ll^imi)Kll^lWmi>klWI^I|:J< II^II^II^M^I|:^ll>f:| mm 


The Nile. — The Secret of its Source. — The Victoria Nyanza 
AND Albert Nyakza Lakes. — Valley of the Nile. — Inun- 
dations. — Meroe and Ammonium. — Division of Egypt. — 
Memnon. — The Pyramids.^Memphis. — The Kings' Graves. — The 
Pharaohs. — The City of Thebes. — Thutmosis. — Ethiopian 
Kings and their Conquests. — Psammetichus. — Nebuchadnezzar 
AT Circesium. — Sais.— The Battle of PelusiUxM. — Religious 
System of the Egyptians. 

THE NILE. — Egypt, or the "black earth," as it was called by the old in- 
habitants, to distinguish it from the dazzling Libyan desert, is a long, 
fruitful valley, which owes its very existence to the river Nile. But for the 
flooding of this stream, the sand of the desert, with its deadly power, would 
choke all vegetation as far as the Red Sea coast ; therefore the lower land was 
called by Herodotus, "a gift from the Nile;" and according to Homer, land 
and river both bore the same name, Aigyptos. This fertilizing stream, as to the 
source of which full light has only recently been thrown by the investigations 
of Speke and Baker, was called by the natives, " the secret one," and is the 
efflux of two large lakes, situated in a high tableland under the equator, called 
the Victoria Nyanza (Ukerewe) and Albert Nyanza (Luta N'zige, or M'wutan). 
The waters of both these lakes rise during the rainy season above their 
ordinary level ; the Ukerewe discharges its waters northwards through a 
number of outlets or channels, which unite to form the Nile before entering 
the M'wutan lake. The principal stream (Bahr el Abiad, or White Nile) 
flows in a delta, as at its mouth, from the Victoria Nyanza lake towards the 
north, passing through the Albert Nyanza at its north-eastern extremity from 
the west, receiving the Bahr el Gahzah, whose chief branch, the Bahr el Dzur, 
rises in the mountain region in the west of the Albert Nyanza. Farther 
northwards, in Nubia, there runs into the Nile, from the eastern side, the 
so-called Blue River (Bahr el Azrek), a comparatively insignificant tributary, 
which in summer is completely dried up, its waters being evaporated by the 
burning heat. The high-lying country on the Victoria Nyanza, whence the 



Nile obtains its chief tributaries, is one of the most picturesque and salubrious 
localities in the world. 

But when the stream reaches the Nubian territor}', it passes through barren 
sandy plains, or is hemmed in by black mountain ranges, until it finally flows 
through the palm forests of Syene, and reaches the borders of Egypt. After 
precipitating its rushing waters between the beautifully-situated islands of 
rhyl?e and Elephantine, dashing with fury over the dark, high-piled granite 
rocks, the character of the country changes. The descent of the rocky table- 
land of the desert forms two high ridges, between which the Nile flows 
peacefully towards the sea ; on the east it is skirted by a rocky chain of 
mountains, which separates the valley of the stream from the sandy plains of 
the Red Sea, and contains many valuable stones, such as basalt, porphyry, 


and serpentine ; on the west it is protected by a mountain plateau from the 
yellow sand-drifts of the desert, which are nevertheless sometimes carried by 
the hot south-west storms as far as the border of the valley. In this abyss 
the wide stream rolls silently and majestically along, its sandy shore becoming 
transformed into a verdant oasis wherever the fertilizing stream penetrates or 
is carried by the art of man, and without any increase from other rivers 
it waters and fertilizes the parched land, on which the bright, cloudless sky 
so rarely sends down a refreshing shower. 

Below INIemphis the river divides into two principal branches, with several 
small tributaries, and the valley widens into an expansive plain, where fruitful 
fields and grassy meadows are intermingled with forests of palm and of 
sycamore, until it finally breaks through the strip of sand and marsh land, and 
pours its stream into the sea. This is the Nile delta, or inundation soil, the as- 
tonishing fertility of which caused Egypt to be called the granary of the ancient 
world. The " brook Egypt," near the village of El Araish, the Rhinokolura 
of the ancients, was from ancient times the boundary of Palestine ; and a strip 



of desert on the sea-coast was the only means of communication between the 
Nile country and the civilized nations of Western Asia. Towards the west 
there were a few fruitful spots of vegetation, which kept open the road for the 
caravans, made possible by the domestic beasts of burden, the camel, horse, 
and ass. The fruitfulness of Egypt is entirely dependent on the over- 
flowing of the Nile. When the periodical rains of the tropics have swollen 
the water-source, and the reservoirs of the two lakes can no longer contain it, 
the stream begins to rise at the time of midsummer, and continues to swell for 
three months, from the middle of June till the middle of September. In July 
it has already overflowed its shores ; in August, when it has nearly reached its 
highest point, about twenty feet above its normal height, the dams are opened, 
and the flooded stream is carried into the canals with which human industry, 
even in ancient times, had intersected the country, that the water might be 
carried to distant localities. At this time the country has the appearance of 
a lake, the towns and hilly spots appearing as so many islands standing forth 
from the waters. Numerous boats are dotted over the flood, and the whole 
population, festively adorned, celebrate the joyful time of increase with 
manifestations of delight. When the tropical rains are over, the stream 
returns gradually to its proper level, leaving behind it everywhere the fertil- 
izing soil it has swept down from the mountain regions in the shape of a slimy 

In October the land dries ; seed is then planted, and quickly the green 
shoots show themselves, giving the country the appearance of a garden. The 
time of growth lasts till the end of February ; in March the harvest takes 
place; and then follow three months of drought, during which the Nile is at 
its lowest level. The green ridges of the valley would soon become the prey 
of the sandy desert if the life-giving stream did not begin its course anew in 
the month of June. 

Meroe and Ai)unoniiun. — According to old legends and traditions, there 
existed in olden days, in that part of Nubia where the White and Blue rivers 
unite to form the Nile, which then pours itself in numerous waterfalls over 
the intersecting mountain country, a civilized community, established in the 
midst of a population of negroes and smooth-haired Libyans, who led an 
uncivilized life either as hunters, fishermen (ichthyophagi), or shepherds, 
inhabiting holes and caves (troglodytes). This civilized state, which bore 
the name of Meroe, is believed to have upheld caste restrictions, in which the 
priests had the chief power, the king being chosen from their midst, who, if 
he sought to withdraw himself from their guidance, was sometimes deprived 
of both crown and life. It appears to have been an ecclesiastical state com- 
bined with an extensive trading system, and even now ruins arc to be found 
of ancient temples as well as remains of pillars, monuments, pyramids, sphinxes, 
and sculpture of all kinds in the valley of Sennaar and the present Schendi 
territory, which bear witness to the former power and splendour of an Ethio- 
pian kingdom, the chief town of which, Meroe, was probably a commercial 
centre between North Africa, Arabia, Babylonia, and India. Similarly con- 
stituted ecclesiastical communities existed also in other parts of the Egj-ptian 
country, and were long considered as colonies of Meroe particularly the temple- 
state Ammonium, with the world-renowned oracle of Zeus Ammon, on an 
oasis covered with dates, palms, and olives, in the Libyan desert ; and the 
ecclesiastical colony on the Barhal mountain east of the Nile, near the still 
existing pyramids of the village Meraw'e. 

In all these communities, it is said, there existed a priest-king or pharaoh, 





responsible to the priest-caste, who as the representative of the sun-god, was 
the head of the whole, a hierocracy-commonwealth which was divided into 
castes. That view of historical tradition that attributes to Meroc the source 
of Egyptian civilization, and supposes that even the mighty metropolis of the 
Upper Nile, Thebes itself, received its civilization and institutions from the 
south, has been found from more recent investigations to be erroneous ; it 
has probably arisen through the human propensity of endeavouring to trace 
back to a remote past every valuable possession of mankind, whether of an 
intellectual or material kind. All appearances point to the fact that the 
civilization of the southern lower land gradually penetrated to the upper. 
The character of Egyptian civilization is too much regulated by the nature 
of the river and the land for its origin to be found anywhere but in the 


''\:V-\ ' ' \ \\/'' -' ^' \ \' /\/Y'\ 



Nile valley itself. Meroe was without doubt a colony of Thebes. Even the 
intermediate theory that ancient Thebes obtained the beginning of its 
civilization from Meroe, and after outstripping the mother-state, brought 
its higher development back to Ethiopia, has little probability. 

Division of Egypt. — In very early times the Nile country was already 
divided into Upper and Lower Egypt, the northern part being designated as 
the land of Set, and the southern as the land of Horus. Each of these was 
sub-divided into twenty-two divisions or districts, which included Nubia, as 
well as Napata and Meroe. In the southern district, that extended as far as 
Memphis, are the remarkable and gigantic ruins of Thebes, standing on 
both sides of the river ; and the temple-palace of Karnak, with its massive 
ruins of pillars, colossal figures, and statues of coloured sandstone, beautiful 
marble, and of red and black granite. The approach to this from the ruins 



of Luxor is by the second great palace of the Pharaohs, a path 6,000 feet i 
long, with colossal sphinxes placed at a distance of about ten feet from each, 
other, forming "the grandest avenue ever laid out by man." Among the 
other remarkable objects of Upper Egypt are the colossal figure of Memnon ;■ 
a statue of the ancient king Amenophis, which is said formerly to have given i 


forth harmonious sounds at sunrise ; the forty graves of the kings, dug in the 
black walls of rock in a dreary wilderness, with gigantic arches and halls ; 
and the underground catacombs, with their burial-chambers, labyrinths of 
passages, and treasures of ancient vessels, ornaments, mummies, rolls of 
papyrus, etc. In the valley of the kings' graves everything seems dead, and 


desolation lies spread over the silent region. A more dismal spot than this 
could not have been chosen by the kings for their last resting-place, for we 
might almost imagine that the gates of the lower regions were opening. 
Down the river, near the old city of Memphis, are the remains of the labyrinth. 



among which that erected by King Cheops, near the village of Ghizeh, excites 
special astonishment on account of its gigantic size and height (over 450 
feet) ; and Lake Moeris, which appears to have served as a regulator of the 
flooding of the Nile. Below Memphis, the Nile divides into different arms 
and branches, seven of which were known in ancient times. At the present 
time there are only two principal branches, the Rosetta and the Damietta. 

The piece of land bounded by these branches, and by the sea, is called a 
delta, on account of its three-cornered form. On it stood, besides the ancient 
city of Heliopolis, which was afterwards eclipsed by Alexandria, the historically 
interesting places, Sais, Naucratis, and Busiris, the supposed residence of the 
fabulous tyrant and murderer of strangers of that name. 


As in India, the higher castes were a mentally and physically .superior race 
of the Caucasian family, while the lower probably belonged to a race which 
was a transition between the latter and the pure negro. In their religious 
conceptions, and many of their sciences (geometry and astronomy), customs, 
and regulations, the Egyptians exhibit so much similarity to several Asiatic 
nations, to the Semitic tribes as well as to the Indians, that the existence of 
some Asiatic influence on the population of the Nile cannot well be denied. 
This influence, however, can only have made itself felt in the earliest times, 
before civilization and special Egyptian peculiarities had become firmly 
established ; for the situation of the country, shut in by mountains, deserts, 
and sea, combined with the unsocial character of the people, who regarded 
all strangers as enemies, constituted a formidable barrier to the spread of 
foreign influence and civilization. The Egyptians considered themselves 


autochthonic, and called themselves Reta ; they appear, represented in pictures, 
of a reddish brown colour, and are distinguished from three other human 
families : the Aamn, of the Semitic type and pale complexion ; the Nehesu, 
or Negroes ; and the Temehu, or northern nations, with clear skin and yellow 

Egyptian history has been partly compiled from the fragments of an 
historical and religious work written by an Egyptian priest, Manetho, in 
the third century before Christ. Egyptian chronology dates from the so- 
called era of Menophres, generally considered to be Menephthah I., which 
commenced B.C. 1322. In that year the rising of the constellation Sothis 
coincided with the commencement of the civil year, which only occurred once 
in every 1461 years, as the civil year consisted of 365 days, while the Sothian 
year had 365 j days. 

T/ie PJiaraoJis. — At the commencement of the delta, where the stream 
divides into several branches, there existed an ancient state, the central point 
of which was the city of Memphis. From Menes {about 3000) the supposed 
founder of the town, to the invasion of the Hyksos, a foreign shepherd-tribe 
of Semitic descent, there existed a long line of kings, who adorned the state 
of Memphis with large buildings, especially along the western side of the 
precipitous mountains, where the catacombs with their monuments, and the 
kings' graves with their pyramids, extended for miles. The most remarkable 
names among the royal race of Pharaoh at Memphis were Chephren and 
Cheops (2500), the builders of the highest pyramids ; Sesortosis (2300), who 
first turned his arms towards the south, and conquered the Nubians, as 
recounted on a column found in the upper falls of the Nile ; and the third 
Amenhema, who, on account of the overflow of the Nile, is said to have made 
Lake Moeris in the valley of Fayum, not far from Memphis, and consequently 
in many histories bears the name of Moeris. The extensive and wonderful 
structure called the Labyrinth, an imperial palace, with innumerable reception 
halls, courts, and porticoes, both above and below the ground, which served 
as a common centre for all the solemn celebrations of the whole of the pro- 
vinces and districts of the empire, has also been ascribed to him. 

Soon after the death of Moeris, according to the Egyptians, some wandering 
tribes from Syria and North Arabia made their way into the Nile country, 
conquered the kingdom, and ruled despotically and oppressively over the 
subdued population. This tyrannical dominion of the shepherd-tribe, Hyksos, 
lasted over five hundred years, until finally some of the kings of Upper 
Egypt (Thebes) succeeded in the Hberation of the country. Long did the 
Hyksos defy the attempts of their enemies, from their entrenched camp, pro- 
tected by water and marshes on the eastern mouth of the Nile, until they 
were compelled to retire by king Thutmosis (about 1580). The place where 
they encamped was first called Abaris, the Hebrew fortress,, and afterwardf 
Pelusium, city of the Philistines. From that time Thebes became the seat of 
government of the Pharaohs. Thutmosis erected the royal palace of Karnak, 
whose ruined walls and pillars even now excite admiration ; and one of his 
successors, Amenophis (about 1500), distinguished himself by warlike ex- 
peditions in the east and south, and by the founding of the large palace and 
temple of Luxor, south-west of Karnak, on a terrace thrown up on the bank 
of the Nile. His second successor, Sethos (1445-1396), carried the conquests 
still farther, as we gather from the representations of a temple erected by 
him in Nubia; and his son, Rameses the Great, called by the Greeks Sesostris 



bringing the Ethiopians under his sway, and marched victoriously with his 
armies and war-chariots through Syria, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia. 

For many centuries after his dcatli, numbers of monuments and inscriptions 
in tlie conquered countries bore testimony to the greatness of his power and 
dominion. He had beautified his kingdom by the erection of royal palaces 
and temples, whose former grandeur can even now be recognised among the 
broken columns and gigantic remains of statues and sculptured work. His 
fourth successor was Rameses, or Rhampsinitus the Wealthy (about 1270), the 
builder of the great treasure-house, whose memory has been preserved in the 
popular story of "the sly thief" The four centuries of the Pharaohs' rule 
in Thebes formed a period of great splendour and renown for the Egyptians. 
" The victorious arms of the Pharaohs swept over the land, and penetrated to 
Kubia and Dongola, to the Negroes, to Libya and Syria in repeated expe- 


ditions of conquest ; and more than once the Egyptian armies came within 
sight of the Euphrates and the west coast of Asia Minor. None of these 
conquerors neglected to carry off their booty to the temple of Ammon at 
Thebes, or omitted to decorate their principal city with new buildings. 

The mighty city of Thebes, with her "hundred gates," and countless palaces, 
temples, monuments, and catacombs, was the pride and admiration of the 
ancients, as her ruined remains are still the marvel of travellers in the present 
day. But the gigantic memorials of Memphis and Thebes are equally the 
speaking witnesses of the slavery of a people and the despotism of rulers. 
Only with the most abject prostrations might any one approach the majesty 
of the king ; even commanders, governors, and priests crawled in the dust 
before the master, on whose will and pleasure the life and death of all his 
subjects depended. The Egyptians have surpassed every other nation in 
their veneration for their rulers, to whom they have given divine honours. 
" As in the beginning of all things, according to the teaching of the priests, 


the gods ruled over the Egyptians, so, afterwards, the Pharaohs ruled in the 
place of the gods. They are not merely descended from the gods, they are 
themselves gods of the land." The king was the unlimited ruler of the state, 
as well as of religion and of the ecclesiastics, and was the fountain of all 
justice and all legislation ; while a rigorous ceremonialism, and a numerous 
and brilliant court retinue, shut him off from any contact with his subjects. 

But even the sovereignty of Thebes passed away. Ethiopian kings con- 
quered the country, and ruled it for several generations. Tirrhaka (about 
700), one of the Ethiopian kings, carried on war with Syria and Palestine, 
and with the valiant Assyrians on the Euphrates and Tigris. After his death 
the Egyptians took courage, and threw off the foreign yoke, whereupon the 
chiefs of twelve of the temple-districts divided the royal power between them, 
and constituted themselves into a Government of twelve, or dodecarchy. 

This Government was overthrown by Psammetichus, of Sais (670-616), who 
with the help of Ionian and Carian mercenaries, overcame his co-rulers anc 
obtained sole possession of the kingdom. He and his successors established 
themselves in Lower Egypt, and entered into alliance with the Greeks and 
Phoenicians. Psammetichus introduced Greek soldiers into the country, pro- 
moted their settlement in Lower Egypt (Naucratis), and favoured their foreign ^ 
customs and mode of warfare at the expense of the natives. Thus in Memphis 
there arose "an encampment of Tyrians." Exasperated at this innovation, 
200,000 Egyptians out of the priest and warrior castes emigrated from the 
country to Nubia, and founded a state of their own north of Elephantine, 
under the sovereignty of the king of Meroe. From that time the Egyptian 
characteristics were greatly modified by foreign influences, and the original 
four castes were increased by three : shepherds, navigators on the Nile, and 
interpreters. Necho, the son of Psammetichus (616-600), followed in his 
father's footsteps. He encouraged trade and navigation, and endeavoured by 
the continuation of the old canal from the Mediterranean to the Arabian gulf, 
to provide new openings for trading communication. He also formed the 
basis of a maritime power, and caused the southern part of Africa to be cir- 
cumnavigated. Necho likewise renewed the warlike expeditions of the old 
Pharaohs into Asia. Syria and Palestine were already conquered, and an 
immense army with countless chariots made its way through the Syrian desert 
to the confines of Mesopotamia. 

But the overwhelming defeat of the Egyptians by Nebuchadnezzar near 
Circesium (Karchemis), on the Euphrates, set a limit to their plans of con 
quest. Under Necho's second successor, Hophra, called by the Greeks Apries 
(died 570)> all the conquests were again lost ; and during an unfortunate ex- 
pedition against the commercial town of Gyrene, in North Africa, the Egyptian 
soldiers, irritated by the prominence given to the Ionian and Cai-ian mercen- 
aries, rebelled against the king, slew him, and raised the valiant commander- 
in-chief, Amasis (574-526), to the throne of the Pharaohs. But the hopes of 
the Egyptians for the expulsion of the foreigners remained unrealized. Amasis 
followed the example of his predecessors ; he also promoted colonizing by 
Greek traders and soldiers, and encouraged Hellenic culture, habits, and re- 
ligious observances. Lower Egypt now became the centre of wealth, luxury, 
and pleasure ; trade prospered, and Sais could compete with Memphis and 
Thebes in artistic splendour and magnificence. 

But the days of its grandeur were numbered. Scarcely had Amasis been 
laid in his last resting-place in the court of the temple of Sais, when the 
Persian king, Cambyscs, carried war into the famous old Egyptian land. 



Amasis' son, Psammenitus (523), was defeated in the bloody battle of Pelu- 
sium (Suez) ; his kingdom passed into the possession of the Persians, who 
from that time ruled over the Egyptians for two hundred years, without, how- 
ever, being able to bring about any close alliance with Persia. For however 
much Cambyses declared war against Egyptian habits, institutions, and 
religious customs, the oppressed people remained steadfast to their national 
characteristics and dislike of innovation, and testified by repeated insurrec- 
tions — which, however, always proved unsuccessful — their intense hatred of 
their oppressors. 

In the middle of the fifth century, the Egyptians roused themselves to a 
still more persistent effort to obtain their freedom ; they entered into a league 
with the Libyans, and with the assistance of the Athenians endeavoured to 
shake off the Persian yoke, and though th-y succumbed at last to superior 
force, yet the attempt was glorious. "This struggle for freedom is more com- 
mendable in a nation than many exploits i 1 the time of their greatness and 
prosperity." The Persians were at a later period supplanted by the Greeks 
and Macedonians, who in their turn yielded to the Romans; but the Egyptian 
people remained unchanged in their characteristics, preserving their primitive 
customs and peculiarities, and serving their foreign masters with a resentful 
submission. Even at the present day, the Christian Copts, whose language 
and characteristics point back to the primitive race, have nothing in common 
with their Mahometan rulers. 

Religions System. — As the whole existence of the Egyptians was limited 
by the conditions of their country, so their religion had a close affinity to 
the national features of Egypt. In the valley of the Nile, where life and death 
approached each other so nearly, it must have been the great endeavour of 
men to weaken the power of death, and to strengthen and glorify the creative 
powers of nature. Thus Egyptian religious worship was almost exclusively 
dedicated to that great force of nature which in its changing course bestowed 
life and fruitfulness on the land, — the sun. Notwithstanding that the gods and 
forms of worship were so manifold that every town possessed its own local 
divinities, and but a izw of these deities received the combined adoration of 
the whole nation, yet all information we possess tends to the fact that the 
worship of the sun was the earliest germ and universal principle of the 
Egyptian religion, and the special national worship. 

Not only were a number of deities,that appear with separate names and separ- 
ate forms of worship in their own temples, brought into connection with the idea 
of the sun, generally through symbolism, but the majority of local gods and 
gods of tribes were associated with the sun for the heightening of their dignity, 
frequently by the addition of the title Ra — the oldest designation of the sun 
god — to the name of the local deity. Thus not only was the Theban chief 
god, Ammon, converted by the appellation Ammon-Ra, into the most powerful 
national god ; but the greater part of the other local gods, such as Mentu, Atmu, 
Thoth, etc., were placed within the sphere of sun-worship by the affix of the word 
Ra. This Ra, or Phra, whence Phara, the father and king of the gods, who 
was enthroned in the sun and held dominion over the whole heavenly space, 
was worshipped principally in Memphis and Heliopolis, " the city of the sun." 
Here stood a venerated sanctuary, visited, according to Egyptian legends, by 
the mysterious Phoenix, which came from the east every five hundred years, 
burnt himself to death in fragrant incense, rose again re-juvenated from the 
ashes, and on the third day returned to his eastern home, a symbolical repre- 
sentation of the movement of the sun in unchanging, ever- recurring periods. 




Architrave with the sun ornament and two pillars from the temples at Dendera and Karnak. 

PylonEB. Temple of Isis at Philoe. 

Various representations of the Lotos-flower in full or in partial bloom. 

Portrait of a King's daughter ; Relief from Domanhour. 

Ornamented doorpost. Ornamented doorpost. 

The strong guardian of heaven, the sphinx form, the Hon with the sun-god's 
head, was its symbol. As the primitive and most ancient god, Ra has no 
creator, but is " self-originated, and begotten out of the watery chaos, like the 
lotos-flower out of the moist valley ; he is the sun-god of both spheres, and the 
lord of heaven to all eternity." 

Next to Ra, Ptah and Osiris were held in highest esteem. Near the temple 
of Ptah, the " father of light," at Memphis, was a magnificent court, in which 
was kept the sacred bull Apis, held in such veneration by the Egyptian people, 
as the emblem of the sun and its creative power, that at its death the whole 
land was thrown into mourning until the priests found a new bull bearing the 
necessary distinguishing marks, when a seven days' festival of rejoicing took 
place, and the happy event was celebrated with processions and banquetings. 
The animal was black with a white spot on his forehead, double hairs in his 
tail, and an excrescence under his tongue, in the shape of the holy beetle. 

The special national divinity of the Egyptians was, however, the sun-god 
Osiris, with his wife, his sister Isis, and her son Horus. Concerning him 
alone have the priests composed significant legends, typifying the course of 
the year with its accompanying natural phenomena. Osiris, the benefactor of 


the country, is murdered by his envious brother Typhon (Set) and seventy- 
two companions, and his corpse is placed in a chest and sunk in the river. 
With sorrowing and lamentation Isis seeks for her lost husband. When she 
finds the body, she buries it with her sister Nephthys in the sacred river-island 
Philcc, or, according to other accounts, in Abydos. Osiris appears to Horus 
from the kingdom of death, where he is now a ruler, and exhorts him to 
avenge his murder. His noble son collects his faithful followers round him, 
conquers Typhon, and drives him with his swarthy companions into the 
wilderness. Horus then ascends the throne of his father and rules as the last 
of the gods over Egypt. In this allegorical legend, the course of nature in 
the valley of the Nile is symbolically represented. Typhon and his com- 
panions are the seventy-two days of heat and drought. Isis, representing the 
country of Egypt, laments and cries out for the blessing of water ; Osiris, who 
symbolizes the fertilizing, life-giving power manifested in the Nile, has gone 
away during his wicked brother's reign, or slumbers on the rocky gate near 
the water-falls of Philoe and Elephantine. But his son Horus, the early 
spring, drives off, with youthful energy, the " blazing-fire man " Typhon, and 
gives back to the land its well-being and fruitfulness. The death of Osiris is 
only a trance, he lives and acts both on the earth, — through his son Horus, 
who is his' father's avenger ("revealer "), the type of the Egyptian kings, — and 
in the lower world, the kingdom of death, where he judges departed souls, 
and awakens them to new life. The Greek-Egyptian god Serapis, in the 
later city of Alexandria, whose worship was in such favour with the 
Ptolemies, that forty-two sanctuaries in his name existed in Egypt in the 
third century before Christ, also belonged to the circle of sun-divinities. 

Next to these gods, Neith, the mysterious personification of the maternal, 
conceiving, and fruitful power of prolific nature, the tutelar goddess, was held 
in great veneration at Sais, in Lower Egypt. In her honour a lamp-festival 
was celebrated every year, similar to the torch procession at Athens in honour 
of the virgin, Pallas Athene, with whom she has often been compared. In 
course of time the original representations of nature became more and more 
spiritualized in ecclesiastical doctrines, and took the shape of philosophical 
and ethical conceptions. Like the Indian Brahma, a mysterious primitive 
being (Ammon) was gradually developed in theological speculations, as the 
sole and perfect unity, embracing the other gods, who appeared but as differ- 
ent representations of him, one divine race emanating from another, and 
ever approaching nearer to human comprehension. 

The veneration of sacred animals was a form of religious worship peculiar 
to the Egyptians, and held such a prominent place in the national religion 
that it excited the greatest attention even in ancient times, and many ex- 
planations Avere originated as to its cause and meaning. Besides the Apis 
bulls in Memphis, who possessed their own palace and a magnificent 
sepulchre, cows, cats, the ibis, sparrow-hawks, dogs, crocodiles, and many 
other animals received divine veneration. Whoever intentionally killed a 
sacred animal was punished with death. Herodotus relates that if a con- 
flagration occurred, the Egyptians exhibited much more solicitude for the 
safety of the cats than for the extinguishing of the flames, and if a cat 
happened to be burnt to death, great lamentations were raised. In this 
worship of animals, a barbarous superstition appears to have been united with 
some higher conceptions or ideas ; for while the mass of the people probably 
gave themselves up to a coarse fetishism, which regarded the sensual object of 
veneration as if it were the divine being itself, the initiated fostered views of a 










more spiritual kind, " by which, in the instincts of animals, the wondrous, im- 
penetrable spirit of nature was recognised and adored in its immediate action 
as it moved mightily, without passing through the stages of deliberation and 
reflection." Or animals were worshipped as images of the divinities to 
whom they were dedicated, — in so far as the gods were looked upon as the 
representatives of the powers ruling in nature, — or the celestial bodies. The 
Egyptians believed in the continuation of life after death, in the punishment 
of; the wicked and the reward of the good. After the soul of the dead 
man had overcome all hostile powers, and passed through every dangerous 



portal, he was conducted by Ma, the goddess of justice, into the hall of 
"double truth," on the threshold of the lower regions, where, before the 
throne of Osiris, in the presence of forty-two judges, he had to undergo a 
severe examination, in which the heart of the dead man was weighed in the 






balance of justice, the result being recorded by Thot, the god of the art of 
writing. The souls of the just, adorned with ostrich feathers, enter into the 
plains of the sun-god, to be united, in various degrees of glorification, 
with the divine being ; while the souls of the wicked depart to the kingdom 
of darkness to undergo purification. 

With this doctrine of retribution the Egyptians also united a belief in the 
migration of souls, in the manner of a purifying process; that the souls of the 
dead returned again to earth, and according to the measure of their sinfulness 
entered into the bodies of men or animals, particularly of birds, in order to 
accomplish anew their earthly course, which wandering continued until they 
were considered by the judge of death to be purified, and being once more 
united with their original body, the sacred mummy, were allowed to enter into 
the regions of heavenly light and life ; while the souls of the godless were 
condemned to eternal annihilation. 




Monuments, Arts, Science, and Characteristics of the 


EVEN in the earliest times, Egypt possessed 
numberless towns and villages, and a high 
standard of civilization. Science, arts, and social 
industry were all fostered ; so that the country of 
the Nile was at all times regarded as the mys- 
terious cradle of all human culture, and its in- 


habitants as " the wisest people of the earth." 
Both in knowledge of the heavenly bodies, cal- 
culation of the stars, and the division of the year, 
the Egyptians had made great attainments ; but 
they abused their astronomical knowledge by 
pretended divination, fortune-telling, and astro- 
logical dreams. They were regarded as the best 
doctors through all periods of the ancient world, and the rudiments of 
geometry and chemistry are also ascribed to them. 

But the curse of tyranny and priestcraft, of mental stagnation, and the 
need of free development, weighed upon the nation ; so that at the end of 
centuries it still remained at the same point, and the work it had begun other 
nations were obliged to finish. The rigid-looking sculptured figures produced 
in the service of an ancient, transmitted religion, with their typical fixed 
expression, only attained beauty and freedom under the influence of the 
Greeks ; while medical knowledge, geometry, and other branches of learning 
which were given over to the priests, were in like manner only developed 
into sciences by means of Greek genius. 

On account of the Egyptians' religious belief in the connection between 
the immortality of the soul and the preservation of the body, the peculiar 
custom prevailed of embalming the dead, to preserve them from decay, and 
of placing the mummies in underground passages and catacombs. Over the 
bodies of their rulers they erected colossal royal tombs or pyramids. The 
structure was commenced from the interior vault of rock, over which a four- 
cornered pile was erected, gradually tapering towards the top, formed of 
blocks of rock. Every king began to construct his pyramid as soon as he 
ascended the throne. He commenced it on a small scale at first, in order 
to be sure of having a completed grave. But as the years of his reign passed 
on, he increased it by laying on additional coatings of stone. After he died, 
only the outer covering was completed, and thus the monument stood as a 
lasting memorial of the king, and as an index of the length of his days. 
After the body had been deposited in the tomb, the entrance was closed up 
with flat pieces of rock, and in the interior the passage was also stopped 
here and there with massive blocks of stone. Around it were grouped the 
graves of the relatives and associates of the king. The pyramid of Cheops 
is said to have engrossed the labour of 100,000 men for forty years. In a 
similar manner the kings of Thebes, on their accession to the throne, 
immediately began to excavate their last resting-places, and continued to 
make fresh entrances, chambers, and staircases, until the death of each one 
brought the work to an end, and after the cofiin had been placed in the 
"golden chamber," the grave was closed up. In this way arose the "city of 
the dead " at Thebes, where countless graves, " like bees' cells," arc hewn 




Mummy case, richly gilt and orna- 
mented, from Thebes. 

Chair or throne supported by four 
captives, from the grave of Rameses 
III. at Thebes. 

Basket on a stand containing bottles, 
the original in the Museum at Berlin. 

Wall-painting, representing Rameses 
Meiamun in a war chariot, from the 
Ramesseum at Thebes. 

Table from a wall-painting at 

Ebony chair from British Museum. 

Various weapons of war, etc., and 
musical instruments, from Thebes, 
etc., including an instrument differing 
from the harp, lyre, and guitar, a five- 
stringed instrument, and a Sistrum or 

in rows in the rock, with straight and winding staircases, passages, shafts, 
and galleries leading up and down. 

The Egyptians compared earthly life with the course of the sun, and con- 
sequently placed their dead towards the west, in the direction of the sunset. 
Through the superstitious temper of the people, which showed itself in their 
numberless divinities, temples, and sanctuaries, and in a multitude of religious- 
festivals, formularies, rules for purification, penances, sacred observances, and 
sacrifices of all kind.s, the priests obtained considerable power and influence. 
They were the administrators of all religious matters, regulated the number- 
less sacred ordinances which accompanied the whole of human life, from 
circumcision to burial, engrossed all dignities and magisterial ofiices, and 
were the sole depositories, cultivators, and promoters of the arts and 
sciences, which they preserved by means of their sacred hieroglyphics, as the 
special prerogative of their order. 

The language of the Egyptians was closely allied with Semitic languages, 
probably with a more ancient language, from which the present Semitic 



tongues have originated. In ancient times they made use of hieroglyphic 
picture characters, as Avell as the rounded hieratic script characters. Hiero- 
glypln'cs Avere used by preference on obeHsks, — the four-cornered, tapering 
granite pillars hewn out of single masses of rock, which were placed before 
the entrances of temples, — as well as in the numerous inscriptions with which 
the monuments and walls of temples and sepulchres were covered ; the 
hieratic is found principally on scrolls prepared from the water-plant papyrus. 
From the hieratic writing, at a later period (the seventh century before Christ) 
was developed the demotic writing and language, which to some extent 
possess other grammatical words and forms. From the demotic, with the 
addition of Greek elements, the Coptic language took its origin, which is still 
the liturgical tongue of the Coptic Christians. The grotto-temples also, 
which were hewn in the rocks of the Upper Nile valley by the Pharaohs, and 

© c) Q (Q ® © © © '^ a C-! @ i 

!W.'?: t^^L^ 


adorned with splendid sculptures, representing warlike scenes from their 
lives, testify to the great power of the ecclesiastical body, and of the theo- 
cratic monarchical power associated therewith. The enslaved people, on the 
other hand, were without cheerfulness, energy, or spirit, and had neither war- 
like virtues nor qualities. The want of personal freedom robbed them of 
the feeling of honour and self-respect, the source of all true morality. The 
happiness of the Egyptian's way of life was limited to the exercise of the 
domestic virtues. 

The care which the Egyptians showed in the burial of the dead, and the 
preservation of mummies in cool resting-places, is remarkable. "They insisted 
that these resting-places should be situated in solitary, sequestered spots, in 
which nature suggested by its features the stillness of the grave, and that 
the tombs should be firm and strong, in order to protect the dead from 



disturbance and the graves from desecration ; for it was neither in the power 
of nature nor the will of man to touch the bodies of the departed. The 
Egyptian dead were thus laid to rest in secure, indestructible graves. There- 
fore did each Egyptian head of a family build the tombs of his relations, 
and even his own sepulchre beforehand, making it as strong as possible, 
and adorning it to the best of his power. The embalming of the dead, 
in the preparation for which a kind of mountain asphalt was the most im- 
portant ingredient, was undertaken at greater or less expense, according to 
the rank and wealth of the deceased. When the embalming was completed, 
every portion of the body was wrapped many times in the finest materials, 
and the whole swathed in cerements. In the swathed bandages over the body 
and breast are frequently found gold and silver idols, especially images of 
Osiris, beetles, etc. Mummies that were expensively prepared were further 
enveloped in a covering, consisting of cotton with plaster thickly glued 
upon it, and over the face a likeness was painted, while the rest of the body 
was covered with hieroglyphics ; and the completed mummy was then fre- 
quently adorned with rich necklaces and other ornaments. It was afterwards 
placed in a coffin of sycamore wood, and this again was sometimes deposited 
in a granite sarcophagus decorated with sculpture ; it was then placed upright 
in the grave chamber. These grave chambers, or catacombs, which ever^^ 
Egyptian town possessed, and which are to be found in the rocky moun- 
tainous country west of the Nile, may be considered as real depositories of 
all the arts and sciences of the domestic life of the ancient Egyptians ; for 
all the splendour and decorations were lavished not on the dwellings of the 
living, the resting-places for a night, but upon these vaults of the dead, the 
permanent dwellings of the soul which they regarded as bound for ages to 
the body. 



The PhcEx^icians and their Country.— Manners and Customs. — 
Ancient Settlements. — Sidon and Tyre, Crete, Rhodes, etc. — 
Ancient Commercial and Maritime Importance. — Colonizing 
Enterprises. — Foundation of Utica, Carthage, Gades, etc. — 
Worship of Baal, Moloch, and Astarte.— Melkart, the 
Phcenician Hercules. — Phcenician Science and Art. — History. 
— Spirited Defence of the Island of Tyrus against Salman- 
assar the assyrian. — conquest of the country by nebu- 
CHADNEZZAR. — Phcenicia A Persian Province. — Tyre Destroyed 
BY Alexander. 


ETWEEN the coast of the Mediterranean 
and cedar-crowned Lebanon dwelt the mari- 
time and commercial nation of Phoenicians. 
Their chief towns were Sidon, "the market of 
the nations," and the rich and powerful Tyre, 
comprising both the old coast-town and the 
island Tyrus, with its magnificent harbours and 
waterworks, and the very ancient sanctuary of 
the " city-king," Melkart. 

Industry and intellectual activity led the 
people to many kinds of inventions, such as the 
manufacture of glass, of purple dye, and of 
phonetic writing. They also distinguished them- 
selves in the practice of metal founding (bronze), 
weaving, architecture, and other arts and indus- 
tries ; and in mining and the preparation of 
metals they surpassed all other nations. The 
favourable position of the country led them 
naturally also to maritime enterprise. Not only 
did they navigate their graceful, round ships 
to the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean 
Sea, both to dispose of their own produce and to carry the products of the 
far East ; they even ventured beyond the " Pillars of Hercules," or Gibraltar, 
trafficked in tin from the British Isles, in amber bought of the dwellers on 
the shores of the Baltic, and took enterprising voyages to South Arabia 
and India (Ophir). Through their hands passed "the gold and pearls of 




the East, Tyrian purple, ivory and Hon skins from the interior of Africa, 
Arabian incense, Egyptian linen, the pottery and the noble wines of Greece, 
with copper from Cyprus, silver from Spain, tin from England, and iron from 
Elba." Indeed, they are even said to have rounded the southern point of 
Africa on a three years' voyage, under the command of the Egyptian king 

They founded settlements or colonies in Crete and Cyprus, in the islands of 
the ^gean Sea, in the south of Spain (Tartessus, Hispalis, and the wealthy 
Gadcs, or Cadiz), and in North Africa. Not less active was the Phoenician . 
caravan trade in connection with the ancient civilized states on the Euphrates, 
and with Arabia Felix and Egypt. "All that courage, shrewdness, and 
enterprise could effect, has been put in action by the Phoenicians, in order tO' i 
bring trade and the advantages it brings by navigation, manufacture, and 
colonization to the fullest development, and to establish a communication, i 
between the east and west." Tyre reached its greatest pitch of splendour 
under the government of King Hiram, the contemporary of Solomon. 
Magnificent palaces and temples and gigantic fortresses adorned and 
strengthened the town, and commerce received a powerful impetus from the 
patronage of the friendly Israelite king. But the Tyrians developed their 
powers only in one direction. More inclined to peaceful industry and com- 
mercial profit, than to warlike renown and conquest, they submitted at home 
to foreign supremacy and tribute ; while abroad, they were guided chiefly by 
mercantile aims in the establishment of their colonies, and seldom ventured 
into the field of battle. This pliability of temper did not, however, proceed 
from cowardice. Voyages into unknown waters and with armed .ships de- 
mand courageous hearts, and the Phoenicians often proved that such hearts 
were among them. It probably arose from lack of the spirit of citizenship, 
which, in spite of the most intense feeling of nationality, and the most stead- 
fast attachment to their native town, yet formed a peculiar characteristic of 
the Phoenicians. Freedom had no attractions for them, neither did they long 
for dominion : " They dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians," 
says the Book of Judges, " quiet and secure, and in possession of wealth." 
When Hiram's race was exterminated by the high-priest of the goddess 
Astarte, who then united in his own family the regal power and priestly office, 
the Tyrian commonwealth became entangled in dissensions resulting in civil 
war. Pygmalion, the great-grandson of the high-priest, murdered his uncle, 
the husband of his sister Elissa, who is generally known as Dido, which in- 
duced the latter to emigrate from the country with a certain number of the 
discontented Tyrians. They founded the " new town " of Carthage, on the 
north coast of Africa, opposite the island of Sicily, which soon outshone the 
fame of the mother country, through warlike undertakings, trade, and naviga- 
tion. The story of the bull's hide, in connection with the establishment of 
the town, is typical of the character of the Phoenicians, who, from the oldest 
times, were famed for their cunning and shrewdness. 

This strip of coast-country, inhabited by immigrants of various nations 
(Phoenicians and Philistines), — which extended about twenty-eight miles in 
length and from four to five miles in breadth, to the Lebanon, and can be 
regarded as little more than the skirt or margin of Syria, — was covered with 
numerous towns, among which, besides the above-mentioned, are to be 
specially noticed Arados, Tripolis, Byblos, and Berytos ; so that the coast re- 
sembled an " uninterrupted town," which, with its many seaports and mighty 
fleets, must have awakened the most exalted conception of the wealth, the 



power, and the enterprising spirit of its inhabitants. The Phoenicians were 
too energetic a nation to submit to the tyrannical restrictions of caste, or the 
unHmited despotism of a monarchy ; but each of the Phoenician towns, all 
originally offshoots of Sidon, formed, with the surrounding district, an indepen- 
dent commonwealth, at the head of w^hich was a hereditary king, controlled 
by the aristocratic and ecclesiastical classes. A general confederacy of towns 
— first under the presidency of Sidon, and then under that of Tyre — gave 
material strength to the union. In the colonies also, a council, composed of 
the old families, was entrusted with the management of affairs. 

The principal Phoenician manufacturing industries were those of weaving, 
producing the Sidonian cloths ; the dyeing of woollen and linen goods with 
the Tyrian purple, the crimson tint obtained from the purple snail, or with 
other colours procured from shell-fish or dye-plants ; and the manufacture of 


glass. But they were also skilful in making vessels and ornaments of all kinds 
Jout of ivory, gold, and other metals, and their articles of commerce included 
spices, frankincense, oil, wine, corn, and slaves — for their trade had its origin 
in freebooting and kidnapping. 

Their colonizing enterprises (from the fourteenth to the eleventh century 
B.C.), first undertaken on account of increase of population, and later from 
icommercial considerations and love of gain, were chiefly directed towards 
islands and coast countries favourably situated for trade and industry. 

At Cyprus (Amathus, Citium), Crete, Rhodes, Thasos, Lemnos, Samothrace,. 
and other places, the Phoenicians possessed exceedingly ancient settlements ; 
and at a later period, they established themselves in Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, 
and the Balearic Isles. On the " three-cornered " island, Trinacria, afterwards 
called Sicily, they founded thriving commercial settlements and factories^ 
:particularly "the warehouse of coloured weavers" at Soloeis or Panormus, and 



the western Motya, with its weaving and dyeing manufactories ; while they 
made the splendid harbour of Mehta, or Malta, the central point and station of 
western navigation. The most important Phoenician colonies, however, arose . 
on the north coast of Africa (Hippo, Utica, and Carthage), in southern Spain, 
a country rich in gold and silver, where they gained possession of the southern 
portion of the present province of Andalusia, both sides the Straits, from the 
mouth of the Anas, or Guadiana, and both banks of the Baetis, or Guadal- ' 
quiver to the borders of Granada and Murcia ; moreover they also opened 
mines 'and trafficked in the products of the country. Their chief commerce 
was in wine, oil, honey, and wool. , , r t. • 

The Tyrians were fond of building their new towns on the model of their 
native original city ; and with an island-fortress which contained the citadel 


and sanctuary, and afforded a secure harbour and w^arehouse for their 
merchandise, they endeavoured to combine the neighbouring coasts into a 
double town. They proceeded in a similar manner at the founding of Utica, 
Carthage, and Cadiz, near the " Pillars of Hercules." Wonderful are the 
traditions of the wealth which the Phoenicians obtained from the country of 
Spain, whose streams rolled down in abundance, tin, gold, and copper, mineral 
treasures which the energetic voyagers carried back to their own country. 
Amber, which they made into trinkets, necklaces, and gracefully-shaped 
vessels, they probably obtained by secondary traffic from the dwellers on the 

The Phoenicians did not give so much attention to the cultivation of their 
religious conceptions as various other eastern nations ; their religion was a 




combination of cruel seventy and immoral customs, and appears to have been 
more calculated to awaken a spirit of license and savagery, than to restrain it. 
The habits of the wealthy Phoenician merchants were luxurious and magni- 
ficent ; their lives, with no higher aim than the acquisition of wealth, were based 
on no firm moral principle. Thus the worship of Baal, the old sun-god, and of 
Ashera, the goddess of fruitfulness and of the productive force of nature, was 
replete with licentious and immoral customs. While this religion of sensuality 
is revolting on account of its immorality, the worship of the destructive 
powers of devastating and murderous wars, of the fire-god Moloch, and the 
spear-armed Astarte, who, with Ashera, was united in the popular faith into 
one divine being, inspires horror on account of its cruel rites. 

Human beings, especially children and youths, the most precious possessions 


of men, were placed as propitiatory sacrifices in the fiery arms of the angry and 
powerful god, Moloch, — this was the "passing through the fire to Moloch," — 
and their cries of agony were drowned in loud bursts of sound from flutes and 
kettledrums. Young maidens, also, were sacrificed to the austere maiden 
goddess Astarte, of Sidon, and at the noisy celebrations of her feasts, flagel- 
lation and self-mutilation of the priests and worshippers took place. These 
customs, some sensual, others ascetic and barbarous, give a faithful representa- 
tion of the Semitic character, which fluctuated between luxurious self-indul- 
gence and fanatical frenzy, slavish servility and obstinate pride, effeminate 
idleness and deeds of warlike prowess. One of the chief divinities of the 
Phoenicians was the god Melkart, the king or lord of the earth, coinciding 
with the Greek Hercules, the sun-god, who became a man. Magnificent 
temples in his honour were erected at Tyre and Cadiz, and the navigators 



through the Pillars of Hercules ofifered up sacrifices to him on the rocky 
mountain Calpc. To him, as to Hercules, many adventurous wanderings, I 
and the founding of many cities, have been ascribed. 

In common with the Syrians, the Phoenicians also upheld the worship of 
Adonis, with its mournful and joyful celebrations, representing symbolically 
the decay and the renewal of nature. The death of the beautiful youth 
Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar on a wet and stormy day in the 
autumn, was solemnized by a seven days' festival of mourning, and the 
re-awakening in the cheerful spring-time was celebrated with wild and ; 
sensual rejoicings. 

In science and art the Phoenicians did not attain to the rank of other civilized 
nations of the ancient world. The accounts that tell of the existence of a 
very ancient Phoenician historian, Sanchuniathon, are as untrustworthy, as 
the fragments put forward as belonging to his work are spurious. 


Syria, with ancient Damascus, "the eye of the East," with its wealth of 
:native produce, is only important as an intermediate country for trading. 
1 he sites of Syrian temples served as market-squares and places of public 

msto;y.— In the wars with the valiant Asiatic nations, the Phoenicians 
manifested the courage and patriotism inherent in all the free states of the 
ancient world. When the Assyrian, Salmanassar, conquered the Phoenician 
towns of the continent, and brought them under his sway, 722 B.C., the island 
1 yrus offered a spirited resistance. The inhabitants comoletely repulsed the 
attacks of their enemies, and protected by the position^ of their rock-built 
town, continued for five years to resist every attack, although cut off from all 
access to the coast, and kept from the river and canals by the enemy's senti- 
nels, so that they could only obtain their necessary drinking water, sparingly 
and laboriously, from wells and cisterns. Soon the Tyrian mercandle fleet 



i-uled once more over the sea. Even the Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar, who 
;onquered the Phcenician continent, and transported the inhabitants of Old 
Pyre, like the Jews, to the interior of his kingdom, failed to shake the 
■zourage of the island town, 590 B.C. In vain did he throw up elaborate 
■"ortifications on the shore against the island, so that "every head was made 
jald, and every shoulder was peeled'' (Ezek. xxix. 18); confident of their 
secure position, the inhabitants continued for thirteen years to resist the 
isuperior forces of the enemy, and then only surrendered with stipulations ; 
and the Chaldean and his army "had no wages for Tyrus, for the service 
that lie had served against it." But the repeated attacks appear to have 
broken the strength of the town, for when the Persians soon afterwards 
conquered the countries of Western Asia, Tyre also lost her freedom and 
independence, 540 B.C., and Phoenicia became a Persian province. The 
aristocratic races, and the old commercial families of Tyre, settled for the 
most part in the secure and flourishing new town of Carthage, and took 
thither their intelligence, their capital, and their traditions. As the leading 
maritime and trading power, however, the Phoenicians were in a better 
^position, even under Persian rule, than the other provinces of the Asiatic 
kingdom. Trade and navigation continued to flourish, and industry and 
social activity preserved the country from the stagnation and impoverish- 
ment which brought about the rapid decline of other civilized states of 

In the " triple town," Tripolis, one special day was set apart by the con- 
federacy of the three communities, Sidon, Tyre, and Arados, for commercial 
arrangements and minor matters relating to the administration of justice. 
But in the middle of the fourth century before Christ, the tyranny of the 
foreign governors excited an insurrection, at the head of which Sidon placed 
herself. It failed. Sidon fell into the hands of the Persian king Ochos, and 
when he issued his command that the noblest citizens should be executed, 
the inhabitants set fire to the town with their own hands, and immolated 
themselves with their treasures. Tyre continued a little longer. But when 
Alexander of Macedon overthrew the Persian kingdom, and Tyre, in the 
pride of her former greatness, ventured to resist the conqueror, she was over- 
come after a seven months' siege, and partly destroyed, 332 B.C. From this 
blow the town never recovered, though a remnant of the old population, after 
their dispersion, found their way back to the scene of havoc and destruction. 
Their commerce and maritime power passed away to Alexandria. 



{From the celebrated picture by C. Bcndcmaiin.') 


Origin of the Israelitish Nation. — Abraham and his Descendants. 
— Israel in Egypt. — Moses and Pharaoh. — The Exodus. — The 
Mosaic Code of Laws.— Division of the Country. — The 
Judges. — Theocratic Monarchy of the Israelites. — Saul and 
David. — Solomon. — The Divided Kingdom and its Destruction. . 
— Ahab and Jezebel and their Successors. — Athaliah. — ; 
Uzziah. — The Assyrian Captivity. \ 


HILE the whole world recognised and venerated ' 
the Invisible Being in the forces and phenomena 
of nature and the heavens, one nation of shep- 
herds, of Semitic descent, dwelling in Mesopo- 
tamia, held to the belief in one God, who, as the 
_ ^^=^ creator and preserver of the universe, was omnipo- 
^^w^ tent over all the changing life of nature. Abram, 
r- afterwards called Abraham in the Scriptures 
- (2000 B.C.), one of the progenitors of this nomad 
r ■ nation, at the command of Jehovah quitted his 
. ^ native pastures, and with his herds, young men, 
f and maids, and his brother's son Lot, settled 
B in the lowland Canaan or Palestine, where they 
^ continued their shepherd life, and were called by 
^ the inhabitants Hebrews, a word meaning " the 
strangers from the other side." Isaac, whom 

Sarah bare to Abraham in her old age, established his race ; while Ishmael, 



Abraham's son by his bondwoman Hagar, wandered into the wilderness, and 
is regarded as the progenitor of the race of Arabs. Isaac married Rebecca, 
one of his relatives, a believer, who bore him two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau 
became a hunter, but Jacob remained in the tents, and followed a shepherd's 
life. Through the stratagem of his mother, and contrary to the usual custom, 
the younger son, Jacob, was declared the chief of his tribe ; but did not enter 
into possession of his inheritance until after a long period of service with his 
uncle Laban. During this service Jacob, by his patience, fidelity, and shrewd- 
' ness, obtained two wives, Leah and Rachel, Laban's daughters, and great 
wealth in flocks and herds. He transmitted his race in a direct line ; while 
Esau, who allied himself with the daughters of the land, became the pro- 
genitor of the Edomites. Jacob had twelve sons ; but as his chief affection 
was centred on Joseph the son of his beloved Rachel (about 1800 B.C.), the 
others were so filled with envy that they conceived the wicked design of 
ij ridding themselves of their brother by selling him to some caravan merchants, 
J who carried him away to Egypt. Here Joseph resisted every temptation to 
1| sin, and held fast to virtue ; wherefore God rewarded him with happiness and 
! wisdom. By means of his skill in the interpretation of dreams, he obtained 
: the favour of the Egyptian king, and attained to high dignities and honour, 
I This position he used for the advantage of the nation, by saving the country 
from famine ; and also for the elevation of the king's power, by instituting 
the law that all the field belonged to the Pharaoh ; so that from that time 
the people cultivated the land as perpetual tenants, paying one-fifth of the 
{ produce as rent. 

In this way Joseph obtained such esteem, that he was allowed to send for 
his father and brothers, who came to Egypt, where the fertile pasture-land of 
Goshen, in Lower Egypt, was assigned to them. Here, in the neighbourhood 
■ of Heliopolis, the Hebrews grazed their herds for several centuries. On 
account of his purity of life, and virtuous character, Joseph has remained the 
favourite figure of Eastern poetry and tradition through all time. From Jacob's 
I surname, Israel, the Hebrews were thenceforth usually called Israelites. The 
names of Jacob's twelve sons are as follows : Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, 
Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin. 

The religion of the Israelites is a Monotheism, radically distinct from the 
! religious conceptions of the heathen world ; for while the heathen divinities, 
however much they may have been personified, are still identified with the 
natural forces, having a certain agreement with those they represent, the God 
of the Israelite patriarchs is the Being raised above all nature, the Ruler of 
all the natural and spiritual forces, the Creator of heaven and earth, the one, 
self-sustaining, holy God, who rewards that which is good and punishes that 
which is evil. 

The history of the. patriarchs is such a true and charming picture of the sim- 
plicity of manners and honesty of peaceful nomads as cannot be paralleled by 
any other we possess of the ancient world. Before all, Joseph's noble form 
shines forth ; he stands grandly forward as the man who even in the deepest 
distress remained true to himself, through whom was spread abroad a far- 
extending deliverance, as a luminous demonstration that good — alike as the 
serene strength of the individual and as the Divine will — is more powerful 
than its opposite. He appears calm and composed in unmerited misfortune. 
As a faithful servant of his Egyptian master, he withstands dangerous 
temptations ; and at last obtains the reward of his virtue through his acute 
interpretation of dreams, a gift greatly admired in the East. The agrarian 



regulations, which, according to the traditions of the Israelites, originated with 
Joseph, prevailed in Egypt at every period under the different governments. 

The Setting out from Egypt. — At first the Israelites prospered in the fertile 
land of Goshen. But when Joseph was dead, and a new ruler can:ie to the 
throne who knew not of his past services to Egypt, dislike and contempt of 
the shepherd class excited the Egyptians to hardness and cruelty against the 
foreign nomad tribe. They began to oppress the Israelites by hard field- 
labour and compulsory service, compelled them to build Pharaoh's treasure 
cities, Pithom and Raamses, and put them to heavy task-work in brickmaking 
and pottery. And when, in spite of this oppression, the people multiplied so 
quickly that the Egyptians feared danger from their superiority of numbers, 


Pharaoh issued a command that every new-born male child should be drowned 
in the Nile. This would have been Moses' fate (1500 B.C.) had not the king's 
daughter, with her women, happened to come near the bank where the child 
was hidden in a basket among the bulrushes, when she took pity on him, and 
had him removed to the palace, where he was carefully reared, and instructed 
in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. The murder of an Egyptian, whom 
Moses beheld ill-using an Israelite bondsman, compelled him, in his fortieth 
year, to flee to the Arabian desert, where, on the holy mountain of Sinai, he 
was inspired with the noble desire to become the deliverer of his people from 
the bondage of the Egyptians. The Pharaoh at first refused to allow the 
Israelites to depart, and increased their burdens ; but when the ten plagues 





sent upon the land spread terror and dismay abroad, he gave his consent 
to the departure demanded by Moses and his brother Aaron. 

In remembrance of this exodus from the land of Egypt, and the death of 
the firstborn of the Egyptians connected therewith, the Jews instituted the 
feast of the Passover, — or the passing over of Jehovah, — when they sacrificed 

'i^ the lamb of the passover, "with the loins girded, and a staff in the hand." 
The attempt of the Egyptians to bring back the Israelites by force when 

'I they traversed the Red Sea, brought about their own destruction. The 

''flooding of the water covered Pharaoh's whole army, with his horses and 
chariots ; and Miriam, Moses' sister, and all the women of the Israelite people 

■ sang a hymn of praise with harps and timbrels to Jehovah, whose powerful 
arm had destroyed the enemy, and had sunk Pharaoh's war-chariots and 

^ armed hosts beneath the waves. " Thou didst blow with Thy wind, the sea 
covered them ; they sank as lead in the mighty waters." 

The Mosaic Code of Laws. — For a long time Moses continued to lead the 
murmuring and rebellious people in the Arabian desert, that they might grow 
in physical strength, that moral feeling and love of freedom might once more 

= enter into them, and that a young hardy race might grow up, possessing the 
courage and vigour to conquer the promised land. During the wandering — 
I time of probation and purification which a later record has described as 
comprising forty years — Moses, whose fervour, constancy, and immovable 
trust in God only increased with dangers and obstacles, drew up the code of 
laws for the religion, customs, and government of the Israelites, which he 
had received from Jehovah on the terrible Mount Sinai or Horeb. Jehovah 
Himself was lord and king ; His will was made known in the laws, which 

' were preserved in the "holy of holies," in the ark of the covenant, and which 
were interpreted by priests under the authority of one high-priest. Aaron 

' and his successors were to fill this office, as their hereditary privilege. With 

^ them also stood the Levites, as sacrificing priests, teachers, expounders of 

I the law, and physicians. The chiefs and elders of the Jews conducted the 
temporal government in the name of Jehovah. " At the head of each tribe 
was the prince of that tribe, surrounded by the chiefs of the united tribes, 

i and the elders of kindred branches. These elders were the judges and law- 

i givers of the people. But the conclusions which concerned the whole com- 
munity, were either received with approving acclamation by the collective 
tribe which surrounded the assembly of its elders, or rejected with a cry 
of dissent. Thus the chiefs and leaders of the united tribes formed, with 
"Moses and Aaron, the chief council of the nation, which was composed of 

. . ocventy or seventy-two members. Sacrifices and festivals, such as the Pass- 

Ijover, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles, composed the peaceful bond of 
union between Jehovah and His people ; and the Sabbath year, every seventh 
year, and the year of Jubilee, every fiftieth year, were instituted to prevent 

, the great inequality of property. 

(f! Instead of the old wandering life, Moses appointed agriculture as the chief 
occupation of the people. In accord with the fundamental theory that 
Jehovah, as the highest ruler and possessor of the land, appointed his portion 
■ of territory to every member of the covenant, the land could not be sold, 
but the owner could only sell the usufruct for a certain period ; thus arose the 
arrangement that every fiftieth year, the Jubilee-year, all property reverted 
to its original owner, and all demands for debt had to be remitted. In 
the Sabbath year the ground was not tilled, and what grew of itself was not 
reaped by the owner of the land, but was the common property of all. As 



the centre of the monotheistic worship of Jehovah, Moses established a sanc- 
tuary for the people, the sacred tent or tabernacle of the covenant, in "a 
movable temple, such as their wandering life made necessary." It consisted 
of three parts : l, the holy of holies, only accessible to the high-priest, in 


which stood the ark of the covenant, of acacia wood, with the tables of laws ; 
2, the holy place, separated from the former by a curtain, and containing the 
seven branched candlesticks, the altar of incense, and the table with twelve 
loaves of shewbread ; 3, the court of sacrifice, with the altar of burnt-offering. 



and the basins of purification for the sacrifices. The anointed high-priest, at 
the great feast of atonement, had to procure pardon for the sins of the people 
by a propitiatory sacrifice. The rigid observance of the laws of sacrifice and 
purification was strictly inculcated. 

Division of the Country. — It was not granted to the great prophet and 
lawgiver to crown his work by leading the Israelites into the promised land. 
From Mount Nebo he looked down on the beautiful valley of Jordan, and then 
departed from the land of the living. " His eye was not dim, nor his natural 
force abated." Before his death (1450 B.C.), he appointed Joshua the son of Nun, 
of the tribe of Ephraim, to be his successor ; exhorted the assembled people 
to steadfast reliance on the God of their fathers, and urged them to the exter- 
mination of the Canaanites. He desired by these means to prevent their 
falling into idolatry. Scarcely had the nation, under the guidance of the brave 
Joshua, conquered the Amorites and other tribes, than they gave up fighting 


and desired the division of the conquered country. It was divided by lot, 
pursuant to Moses' regulations, among the successors of the twelve sons of 
Jacob, according to tribes and families ; so that Joseph's sons, Ephraim and 
Manasseh each obtained a portion, while the successors of Levi received no 
appointed share, but only a few towns, and tithes of the produce of the soil. 
The Egyptians and other strangers who had joined the expedition were 
dispersed among the tribes and families. Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh 
chose the pasture land to the east of the Jordan, and the remainder settled 
on the west side of the river. The tribe of Ephraim, which furnished the 
leader, and had been most victorious in the battlefield, established itself 
between the Jordan and the sea, in the centre of the conquered country, " on 
green hills and in shady valleys," 

Judah and Simeon turned towards the rocky, mountainous country in the 



south ; the tribe of Dan obtained the most northerly point of the Israelitish 
territory round the Phoenician town of Lais, after many fruitless attempts 
to obtain possession of the adjacent mountain from the Philistines ; the four 
tribes of Issachar, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali settled after many battles 
on the grassy ridges of the table-land near Mount Tabor and Lake Chin- 
nereth ; and the tribe of Benjamin dwelt among the Jebusites, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Jerusalem. 

The unity of the tribes was soon dissolved, and each tribe was obliged 
to make war on its own account with the Canaanites. This struggle was 
carried on with horrible cruelty ; the gradual subjugation of the native race 
was accomplished with fearful violence, which increased in the Israelites the 
innate hatred to strangers. The inhabitants on the eastern shore of the 
Jordan continued their shepherd life, while the rest soon grew accustomed to 


agriculture, the cultivation of vines, figs, and olives, and learned from the 
Phoenicians the first principles of handicraft, commercial transactions, and 
civil life ; for many of them preferred a peaceful and secure subsistence in the 
service of the Phoenician world of commerce, to a toilsome life of freedom. 

The Jtidges (1300-1100 B.C.). — The Israelites had soon cause to repent 
their neglect of the last counsel of their lawgiver. Powerful nations like 
the Moabites, Midianites, Ammonites, Philistines, and others were still 
nuconquered, and interfered with the full enjoyment of their possessions. 
Bloody and devastating wars gave birth to a spirit of savagery and law- 
lessness ; days came, of public insecurity, " when the towns kept their gates 
closed, all trade was at a standstill, and the wanderers kept to byways." At 
times also the people forgot the living God who had saved them from bondage, 
and fell into idolatry; until misfortunes and defeats led them back into the 




right path. Then there rose up courageous leaders, who overthrew the enemy 
in victorious battles and re-established the ancient customs and the faith of 
their fathers. They receive in the Bible the name of the Judges, The most 
celebrated among them, besides the heroic Deborah, were Gideon, Jephthah, 
and Samson the Strong. Their deeds were kept alive in the traditions of the 
nation ; and as the country people sat under the shade of their palms and 
olive trees, or encamped at night with their flocks under the stars of heaven, 
they related the story of the sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter, of Gideon's heroic 
battle with the wandering tribes of the southern desert, or of Samson's 
courageous exploits, and how he shook and destroyed the edifice in the 
land of the Philistines ; and for many centuries the northern tribes sang the 
heroic war-song of Deborah over the defeat of the warlike chief Sisera, of 
Hazor, and of his death at the hand of Jael, the wife of Heber. 

But heavy trials came upon Israel. The Philistines won a great victory and 



... . q 


carried oflf the ark of the covenant. On hearing of this disaster, the old high- 
priest Eli was seized with such dismay that he fell backwards from his scat, 
at the gate of Shiloh, and broke his neck. The conquerors then subdued all 
the country on this side the Jordan, seized the weapons of the Israelites, and 
reduced the people to cruel bondage. The tribes beyond the river were 
threatened with a similar fate by the Ammonites. At last Saul, a valiant 
man from the tribe of Benjamin, roused the people to arms, and put himself 
at their head. He was successful in repulsing the Ammonites, and turned his 
arms victoriously against the Philistines. At the same time the hero-priest 
Samuel, of the tribe of Ephraim, 1 100 B.C., Eli's successor in the ofiice of judge, 
a pious, patriotic man, who from his youth up had dedicated himself to the 
service of the sanctuary, succeeded in reconstructing the ancient bond between 
the Israelites and their God, in awakening national feeling, and arousing 
renewed respect for the Mosaic code of laws. He elevated popular religious 



culture, and re-organized the old schools of the prophets, to which the youth 
of Israel resorted to receive instruction in law, oratory, music, poetry, and 
singing. From these schools came the popular orators of the people, full of 
inspiration for freedom, religion, and virtue, who are designated in the Bible 
as the prophets. Standing next to the priestly class, they had the greatest 
influence on the formation and development of religious conceptions, and 
of the belief in the Divine Being. But from the fact that they were not 
appointed by law or popular choice, but were entirely impelled by their own 
consciousness and religious inspiration, they restrained the progress and 
development of law and government. 

Theocratic Monarchy of the Israelites. 

Satil and Samuel. — Samuel had imbued the people with energy, self- 
confidence, and warlike courage ; and had also elevated the priestly power. 
His sons, however, did not follow in their father's footsteps, but perverted the 
law ; therefore the Israelites, dreading new danger to their liberties, and 
desiring to follow the example of neighbouring nations, demanded a king, 
who, as their permanent chief, should lead them to battle and victory. In 

vain did the venerable guardian of theo- 
cracy attempt to dissuade them from 
an intention which was completely at 
variance with Mosaic law, by depicting in 
startling colours the miseries and oppres- 
sions that awaited them under the govern- 
ment of a king ; the Israelites held firmly 
to their intention, and Samuel found 
himself compelled to anoint Saul as the 
chosen king of Israel (1050 B.C.). 

Saul was a goodly man to look upon, 
brave, warlike, and victorious in the battle- 
field ; but as he rested his authority more 
on his army and warlike power than on 
sacred ordinances, and did not adhere 
EASTERN HEAD-DRESSES. stHctly to thc Mosalc laws, for he offered 

sacrifice with his own hand, and, after a victory over the Amalekites, dis- 
obeyed the command of Jehovah to destroy everything that fell into his 
hands, he was rejected. Samuel, and the ecclesiastical body whose power had 
increased through him, were angry with the warlike prince, who went his own 
way in the pride of his martial deeds and royal power ; therefore Samuel 
secretly anointed the youthful David, of the tribe of Judah, a shrewd, enter- 
prising young shepherd, who was devoted to the priestly body. At this time 
there came upon Saul a dark mood of deep melancholy, and he could only 
be soothed by the playing of David's harp. But partly jealousy of the youth's 
warlike fame, and partly a secret foreboding of his future destiny, excited 
Saul to hate and persecute the young shepherd, although the latter was united 
in the closest friendship with Saul's own son Jonathan, and was married to 
Jonathan's sister Michal. David, however, amid many dangers and much 
persecution, escaped the snares that his adversary laid in his path. With a 
band of wild companions he led a warlike, freebooter's existence, and even 
entered for a time into the service of the king of the Philistine town, Gath. 
When at last Saul, who was the terror of his enemies and the protector of 



Israel, after losing a battle against the Philistines, threw himself on his sword 
in a fit of despair, David became king over the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, 
among whom the Mosaic law had taken firmest root. For six years he dwelt 
in Hebron, as a tributary of the Philistines, whilst Saul's son, Ish-bosheth 
ruled over the reigning tribes. But weakened by the revolt of the powerful 
commander Abner, Ish-bosheth gradually lost his power and influence, until 


he at last perished through the treachery of his own people ; whereupon David 
was acknowledged as king by the whole nation. The whole family of Saul 
was exterminated. 

David, who, at the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan, composed the 
beautiful lament over the fallen heroes, " who were swifter than eagles, and 
stronger than lions," and who cried to the daughters of Zion, " Weep over 
Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights ; who put on ornaments 


of gold upon your apparel," — was forgetful, from motives of policy, of the 
kindness he had once experienced in the house of Saul. The new king, how- 
ever, soon made the Israelites the ruling nation in Canaan ; and the means 
by which he had attained the throne were soon buried in oblivion through the 
renown of his mighty deeds. 

David and Solomon. — David's reign (about 1030 B.C.) is the most splendid 
period of Israelitish history. By means of successful wars he extended the 
kingdom towards the south as far as the Red Sea, and eastwards where the 
Euphrates formed the boundary. He made himself master of the Syrian 
town of Damascus, and completely destroyed the power of the Philistines. 
In conjunction with his brave captain, Joab, he subjugated the hostile tribes 
of Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites, and avenged former defeats with 
ruthless severity. " He laid the Ammonites under saws, and under harrows 
of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln ;" 
he conquered Jerusalem, the chief town of the Jebusites, with the strong 
citadel of Zion, and selected it as his residence, and the centre of religious 
worship. Then he caused the ark of the covenant to be brought from 
Kirjath-jearim, in a triumphant procession with harps, cymbals, and lutes, 
and established a solemn worship, of which the singing of religious songs 
or hymns and psalms, the most beautiful of which he himself composed, 
formed the principal element. To him was it given to entwine with the royal 
crown the laurel wreath of lyric poetry. In spite of the dark deed through 
which he won the beautiful wife of Uriah, and many other grievous sins, 
David still remained " the man after God's own heart," for he always suc- 
ceeded, by deep humiliation and penitence, in obtaining the pardon of 
Jehovah. " His variable temperament was susceptible both of the most 
elevated poetic and religious inspiration, and of temptation to enervating, 
sensual weakness." He regulated the affairs of the army, and surrounded 
himself with a brave body-guard of strangers ; he reformed the government 
and the administration of justice, increased the royal revenues and the im- 
perial treasure, and raised the power and authority of the crown. 

The close of his reign was darkened by the rebellion of his beloved son 
Absalom, who was blinded by ambition and misled by wicked counsellors. 
Confiding in the favour of the people, who, alienated by his father's severity 
and repression, were won over by his gracious bearing, the youth of the 
beautiful locks endeavoured to seize the crown for himself. David abandoned 
his capital, and fled across the Jordan. But fortune soon returned to the 
wise king. Absalom was put to death during his flight, being caught by his 
long hair in the branches of a juniper tree. 

On his death-bed David made over his crown and kingdom to Solomon, 
the son of that Bathsheba whom he had so faithlessly taken from her husband 
Uriah, and with politic foresight enjoined him to punish his enemies. Solo- 
mon the Wise, who attained to the throne over the dead body of his elder 
brother Adonijah (about 1000 B.C.), completed the work of his father. While 
David was mighty in war, Solomon shone in the arts of peace. He adorned 
the capital with magnificent buildings, and caused to be erected on Mount 
Moriah, by Tyrian architects and builders, that glorious Temple, surrounded 
by numerous priestly habitations, altars, and shrines, which from the richness 
of its gilding, carved work, and ornament, was the object of universal 
admiration. At the same time, the ecclesiastical body was newly organized 
and regulated, and the celebration of the " Feast of the Tabernacles " was 
instituted, which was held at the time of vine and fruit gathering, when all 



Israel flocked into the capital. In many ways, however, Solomon departed 
from Moses' laws. He associated himself with the expeditions of the Phoeni- 
cians to Ophir ; and by large trading transactions amassed untold wealth, 
which increased his tendency to pomp, luxury, and pleasure. He obtained 
horses from Egypt, and established a standing army, with war-chariots and 
horsemen ; he caused magnificent palaces to be erected, and surrounded 
himself with a brilliant court ; and also established a harem of foreign 
women, whom he permitted to exercise their idolatrous worship, himself 
taking part in their sacrificial feasts. Thus his powerful mind, admirable 


judgment, and much-extolled wisdom, " which excelled the wisdom of all the 
children of the East, and all the wisdom of Egypt," did not preserve him 
from foolishness. 

For a long period popular tradition preserved the remembrance of Solo- 
mon's wise judgment in the dispute of the two women over the possession 
of a child ; of his riddles propounded to Hiram of Tyre and the queen of 
Sheba ; and of his acuteness in suggesting and solving difficult questions. He 
appears as the representative of the brief golden age of the kingdom of 



Israel, and all the glory of it was consequently poured forth on his head. 
The majesty of the priesthood and of the company of poets, and whatever 
was considered as lofty, noble, and enduring in the nation, was regarded as 
the work of Solomon, and recorded in association with his name, as "the, 
judgments," "Solomon's song," and the didactic poem Ecclesiastes, "the 
preacher," The accounts of the superhuman wisdom, wealth, and splendour 
of the king of Jerusalem, the founder of Tadmor, were so much exaggerated 
by succeeding generations, that " Suleiman " appeared to them as a powerful 
magician, the ruler of spirits and demons, and the controller of the secret 
powers of nature ; which character he has maintained unto the present day in 
the tales and fables of the East, amid every change of circumstances, popula- 
tion, and religion. In this character also his name likewise pervades the whole 
domain of poetry. To later generations he appeared, in the mirror of tradition, 
as the personification of wisdom. 

But even Solomon's brilliant reign had its darker side. Out of the patri- 
archal government a despotic monarchy had arisen, with Oriental splendour 
and luxury, and with taxes and villeinage, which weighed upon the people 
with a heavy burden, and devoured all the revenues ; so that on one occasion 
the king sold twenty towns on the Galilean frontier to Hiram, for a sum of 
money. In place of the paternal authority of the elders and chiefs, whose 
judgments had formerly been considered binding, kingly officials now ruled, 
who exercised their power arbitrarily, interpreted the laws according to 
their own pleasure, and exacted tribute from possessions which till then 
had been free. The warlike Jeroboam consequently endeavoured to excite 
an insurrection, even in the lifetime of Solomon. This was however repressed, 
and the instigator was compelled to take flight to Egypt ; but when Solomon's 
own son, Rehoboam, followed in his father's course, and, influenced by " the 
young men that were brought up with him," rejected with scornful threats the 
petitions of the people that he would abstain from tyrannical measures and 
mitigate the burden of taxes, ten tribes revolted from him, and chose Jeroboam, 
of the tribe of Ephraim, for their king. Only Judah and Benjamin remained 
faithful to the legitimate ruling house. 




The Divided Kingdom, and its Destruction. 

TDOL Worship and the Prophets. — Through this 
■^ division of the government there arose two 
kingdoms, of unequal size : the kingdom of Israel, 
or Ephraim, composed of ten tribes, with the chief 
towns, Sichem, Thirza, and Samaria ; and the 
kingdom of Judah, consisting of two tribes, with 
Jerusalem for its capital. As in this city the ark 
of the covenant was deposited in the magnificent 
temple, Jerusalem was regarded by the Levites and 
many pious Israelites, as the real metropolis, and 
the centre of the worship of Jehovah. Jeroboam 
BRINGING OBLATIONS. (979-957 ^.c.) accordiugly set up in the south and 

north of his kingdom, on the old altars at Dan 
and Bethel, golden images of bulls, which were intended as symbols of Jahve, 
and brought the practice of sacrifice on the mountain heights again into use. 


His successors adorned Thirza with splendid buildings, and enriched the 
land through trade ; but its outward strength was weakened by wars with 
Damascus and Judah, while increasing idolatry destroyed the old popular 
trust in God, and gave a shock to the moral earnestness that had depended 
on the national faith, Judah also experienced dark days under Rehoboam's 
successors. The Egyptian king, Sesonchis, captured Jerusalem, and carried off 
the valuable treasures which Solomon had left behind. At the present day | 
there is still to be seen on the southern outer wall of the great temple at j! 
Thebes, the representation of a victorious ruler brandishing a sharp weapon 
over a group of his enemies who have been taken prisoners and bound ; and 
a half-effaced inscription designates one of these captives as the " Juta-malk," , 
or king of Judah. Not until the Jews had destroyed the altars of the strange 
gods throughout the land did a better time come, under king Jehoshaphat 
(918-893 B.C.). One of the richest and most powerful kings in Israel was 
Jehoshaphat's contemporary, Ahab (about 900 B.C.), a prince devoted to the 
worship of nature, who not only transformed Naboth's vineyard into a garden, 
but also planted "the fair-blooming poisonous weed of heathenism in the 
vineyard of Jehovah." He dedicated sacred trees and symbols to the divinity 
of nature, and at the instigation of his idolatrous wife Jezebel, of Tyre, 
erected in his new capital, Samaria, a temple to Baal, in which 450 priests 
administered the pagan rites. In vain did the priests of Jehovah denounce 
this vicious, sensual, Phoenician worship of Baal and of Astarte ; the power- 
ful, strong-willed queen drove out of the country those who resisted, and they 
were compelled to conceal themselves in deserts, caves, and mountain gorges. 
Among them was the prophet Elijah, who found a place of refuge on Mount 
Carmel. Then a drought and famine came over the land, which was declared 
by Elijah to be a Divine judgment on Israel and which caused the excited 
and angry people to massacre the whole of the priests of Baal ; after which 
the fugitive prophets and priests returned, and the worship of Jehovah was 
once more established. But Elijah was compelled to seek refuge again in the 
desert from the pursuit of the enraged queen. Ahab carried on successful 
wars with the Syrians at Damascus ; but when, in opposition to the advice of 
the prophet, he granted the conquered king his life and liberty, his fortunes 
changed. The Syrian king requited the clemency he had received with 
ingratitude, and failed to fulfil the conditions of peace. 

In the third war, which Ahab undertook in conjunction with Jehoshaphat 
of Judah, against the Syrians, he received his death-wound ; but fought on, 
standing erect in his chariot, until he died from exhaustion and loss of blood 
— a valiant man, though his name has been delivered to posterity laden with 
a weight of hatred, by theocratic histories. The unfortunate event had been 
foretold by the prophet Micaiah, who had consequently been thrown into 
prison by the king, previous to the campaign, " until he returned in peace." 
Ahab was succeeded by his son Jehoram (895-883 B.C.), under whom Samaria 
sustained a long siege from the people of Damascus, so that a very grievous 
famine came upon the city. All these disasters were declared by the 
prophets to be Divine judgments on account of the worship of Baal, to which 
the house of Ahab was devoted ; and as by the marriage of Athaliah, the 
daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, to the son of Jehoshaphat, this wicked idolatry 
had been spread abroad in Judah also, it was decreed that the house of Ahab 
should be entirely destroyed. To this end Elisha, the chief of the prophets 
at that time, anointed Jehu (883-855 B.C.), Jehoram's captain, with the holy 
oil of consecration, and in the name of Jehovah declared him king of 


The golden candlestick. 2. Bronze basin for washing the priests' hands and feet. 3. Ark of the Covenant. 

4. Altar of Incense. 5. Shewbread. 6. Altar of burnt offering. 7. Vessels of incense. 



Israel. Jehoram was sitting wounded in his royal palace at Jezreel, with his 
nephew Ahaziah, of Judah, when Jehu with his followers entered the town; 
the two kings, who endeavoured to escape in their chariots, were pursued, 
overtaken, and killed by him ; and Jezebel was thrown out of a window at his 
command, so that her blood spurted out upon the wall, and on the horses of 
Jehu. The fierce murderer drove on over the corpse, and commanded the 
elders of the tribes, and the warlike chiefs, to exterminate Ahab's whole race, 
and to send him the heads of the slain. Thereupon seventy sons and 
grandsons of Ahab, and forty-two of Ahaziah's brothers and relatives, were 


But Jehu's hope of bringing about a union of the two kingdoms over the 
corpses of the royal house was not fulfilled. Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, 
seized the reigns of government in Judah, and destroyed in a similar fashion 
all who stood in her way, not sparing even her own grandchildren, the sons 
of Ahaziah. Only Jehoash, the son of Ahaziah, an infant of one year old, was 
saved with difficulty by his father's sister from the fury of the idolatrous queen, 
and secretly brought up in the temple. The same cruelty that Jehu had 
shown towards the royal house, he also exercised upon the priests and wor- 


•shippers of Baal. They were massacred, their temples were destroyed, and 
the worship of Jehovah was re-estabUshed. But these deeds of blood 
weakened the strength of Israel, so that under Jehu and his three successors 
a large portion of the country was taken by the Syrians, and the army 
■dwindled down to 10,000 men, ten war-chariots, and fifty horsemen. Not 
until Jeroboam the Second's reign (822-761 B.C.) did the country once more 
revive. The lost towns were won back again ; Israel gradually extended 
to the Brook of the Desert, on the boundary of Edom, and commerce 
brought wealth and prosperity to the country ; " the children of Israel dwelt 
in their tents as aforetime," and splendour and luxury reigned in the mag- 
nificent houses of the chief town Samaria. Judah also fared in a similar 
manner. Athaliah (884-878), after a six years' reign, was deposed and put 
to death at the instigation of the high-priest Jehoiada, the temple of Baal 
I' was destroyed, and the worship of Jehovah reinstated in its former glory. 
Ikit neither Jehoash (878-838) nor his son Amaziah (838-809) was able 
efifectually to resist the attacks of their numerous enemies, and a civil war 
with the neighbouring state of the ten tribes proved fatal to the southern 
country and to the chief city Jerusalem. Both kings died a violent death. 

At last Uzziah (809-759) gave new strength to the kingdom. He roused 
the self-confidence and warlike courage of the people by successful wars with 
the Philistines, and other hostile tribes ; and also promoted commerce, cattle- 
breeding, and agriculture. But the evening of his days was darkened by the 
heavy affliction of leprosy ; he retired, a smitten man, to a special habitation, 
and his son Jotham henceforth took up his abode in the palace, and ruled 
the people of the land. 

The Assyrian Captivity. 

In the ninth and eighth centuries very troubled and grievous times came 
upon the divided kingdoms. The Assyrian empire sprang up in the east 
with renewed warlike strength, and sent expeditions of conquest towards 
the countries of the Lebanon, which were weakened by internal wars and 
■distracted by new idolatries. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah, instead of 
standing together to oppose the powerful enemy with their united forces, 
instead of putting their trust and confidence in the protection of Jehovah, 
and maintaining the old national laws and customs, disputed with each other, 
made alliances with foreign nations, implored aid and protection at the 
altars of heathen gods, and gave themselves up to sloth and luxury. They 
persecuted the divinely inspired prophets, who with courageous frankness 
foretold the destruction of the kingdom if the worship of Jehovah were 
supplanted by idolatry, and if discord and wickedness continued to prevail. 
But the courage and power of the prophets increased under persecution. 
In the solitudes and deserts, amid privations and mortification, their faith 
■was strengthened, and inward vision became stronger and more vigorous. 
In the name of Jehovah, whom they had the grace to comprehend as a living, 
personal God, as a spiritual, moral Being, to be worshipped, not with 
altars and sacrifice, but with the service of an irreproachable life, and heart, 
and lips, they insisted on the necessity of an amended life, with the practice 
of virtue and the fear of God ; — and denounced the anger of the Lord upon 
those who refused to return to the God of their fathers, and to put their 
trust in Him alone. 

But the hearts of the Jews were hardened. In vain did Amos, — who 
had been a shepherd tending his flock in Judah until he was summoned 




by Jehovah, — denounce the luxury and profusion of the great men 
of Israel, the deceit, oppression, and wicked perversity with which they 
" turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock." 
The priests of Bethel rose up once more, and compelled him to fly to Judah. 
In vain Hosea warned the Israelitish king, Menahem (760-750 B.C.), of the I 
consequences of the foolish design to obtain the help of the Assyrians against 
the threatening Damascenes, and represented the dangers which would come 
upon the nation if it did not return to the paths of moderation and justice, 
and re-establish the rule of law and order. King Pul was appealed to ; 
he crossed over the Euphrates into the land of Syria, made the misguided 
Menahem his tributary, after having robbed him of cities and treasures, and 
carried away a part of the inhabitants as captives to Mesopotamia. 

This event did not, however, deter the kings of Judah, Jotham (757-741) and 
Ahaz (741-725), from also suing for the favour of Assyria. When Pekah, of 
Samaria, in league with the Syrians of Damascus, made war on Judah, and 
invested Jerusalem, Ahaz invoked the aid of Tilgath-Pilneser, Puis successor, 

made his country a dependency of 

Assyria, and sullied the temple of 
Jehovah with Assyrian idolatry, un- 
moved by the denunciations of the 
zealous, fiery-hearted seer, the in- 
spired prophet Isaiah, whose soul 
was kindled with love for his country 
and for the religion of his fathers, 
and from whose hallowed lips poured 
burning words for the re-establish- 
ment of the old customs and virtues. 
The people offered sacrifice and 
burned incense to strange gods ; the 
horrible worship of Moloch was in- 
troduced, images of the sun were 
erected, trees to Ashera planted, 
and the doors of the temple that 
had been erected to the honour of 
Jehovah were closed. The evil results 
of these deeds of wickedness and 
folly were soon manifested. When 
Shalmaneser, the most warlike of the 
Assyrian kings, invaded the fertile 
coast country, conquered Phoenicia, 
Old Tyre, and the coast towns of the Philistines, and pressed forward as far as 
the boundaries of Egypt, Hoshea, of the kingdom of Ephraim (727-719), entered 
into an alliance with the Egyptians to obtain protection against the over- 
whelming forces of the Assyrians, and shook off the oppressive supremacy of 
Shalmaneser. Enraged at this resistance, the Assyrian invaded the kingdom 
of Ephraim, conquered the chief town Samaria after a three years' siege, and 
carried off the king and the greater part of the population into Assyrian cap- 
tivity, in 719, .to the farther side of the Euphrates and Tigris. The captives 
found new abiding-places in distant Armenia, and the " towns of the Medes ; " 
while foreign tribes, whom the Assyrian king sent for from Babylon, Hamath, 
and the Euphrates, peopled the green hilly country of Samaria. 

A few tottering ruins alone preserved the remembrance of the former power 




and prosperity that had existed under David and Solomon. The land was 
•i laid waste, so that men were destroyed by wild animals, and once fertile 


ROYAL PERSONAGE AND ATTENDANT. {From a ]Vall Sctllpturc.) 

regions became as a wilderness ; and the calamity of the vanquished was 
complete. From the mingling of the new occupiers with the remnant of the 
Israelites, the Samaritans took their origin. 

The Babylonian Captivity and Return. 



UDAH remained tributary to Assyrian 
sway, and was treated with some con- 
sideration. When the powerful Shal- 
maneser died, however, Hezekiah, king of 
Judah (725-696 B.C.), thought the hour of 
deliverance had come. He entered into an 
alliance with the Egyptians, and fortified 

In vain Isaiah admonished the people 
that they should not rely on a broken staff, 
or seek from men the help and protection 
which Jehovah alone could render. Heze- 
kiah remained steadfast to his plan, though 
the prophet's threats of punishment had the 
effect of causing him to turn from strange 
gods, and withdraw from " the worship 
on the mountains." He sought Jehovah 
earnestly and fervently, and his faith was 
not deceived. Sennacherib, the warlike 
successor of Shalmaneser, invaded the land with a mighty army, and threat- 
ened Jerusalem. But Judah's hour was not yet come, and Jehovah pro- 
tected His city as Isaiah had predicted. Before help from Egypt arrived 
a terrible pestilence destroyed the Assyrian army, and Sennacherib arose and 
quitted the country in dismay. Jerusalem was saved. A little while after- 
wards Sennacherib was slain, and the Assyrian kingdom went rapidly towards 
its fall. Even before the end of the seventh century, proud Nineveh lay in 
ruins. But Judah fell back into the old evil ways. Hezekiah's son, Manasseh 
(695-640), turned from his father's worship of Jehovah to the heathen gods 
whom his grandfather Ahaz had adored. The religion of Baal was once more 
established, and a sensual worship again supplanted the adoration of the one 
holy God of heaven. Like Ahaz, Manasseh sacrificed his son to the fire- 
god Moloch. The prophets — who opposed the immoral sacrifices and sensual 
worship with all their might, and raised the voice of warning to declare that 
if kings and people sought not after the living God with purity of heart and 
life, " the line of Samaria would be stretched over Jerusalem " — were cruelly 
persecuted. " Your own sword hath devoured your prophets like a destroying 
lion." But their voices were still raised ; and Isaiah bade the desponding 
people rest full of confidence in the future Messiah, who should spring from 
David's race, and become the Saviour of His people. 

Once more was the ancient covenant between Jehovah and His people 
solemnly renewed, when king Josiah, who ascended the throne as a boy of eight 
years of age (638-608), received the written statutes of Moses from the hands of 
the priests of Jehovah (622), and as a sign that he had returned to the ancient 



faith and obedience, caused the altars of Baal and the star-gods to be de- 
stroyed, drove the priests and magicians from the land, and exterminated the 
worship of pleasure and of terror, as represented by Astarte and Moloch. The 
worshippers of the living God obtained a brilliant victory, and the priesthood 
of Jehovah shared with the royal house in the sovereignty over the people. 

These were the last short years of happiness in Judah. A war had broken 
out between Egypt and Assyria. Josiah, as a tributary of Assyria, wished to 
prevent the Egyptian king, Pharaoh-necho, from passing through his terri- 
tory ; but he lost both the battle and his life near Megiddo, in the plain ot 
Jezreel (608). His firstborn, Jehoahaz, whom the people of their own accord 
proclaimed ruler, was carried away captive into Egypt after a short reign, and 
Josiah's second son, Jehoiakim, ascended the throne as a tributary king (607- 
598). Thoughtless and extravagant, the new king paid no consideration to 
the distress of the country ; he turned again to the strange gods, and perse- 
cuted the fearless prophet Jeremiah, who powerfully denounced the wickedness 
of the king and the nation, and declared that the day of reckoning was at 
hand, when the temple of Jerusalem would fall into ruins, and the people and 

: feaL;^;-:J^J : ^ ^^r..-; ^^^^:^^%^jj %^-;.r-^.^^ 


the land of Judah would become the prey of foreign troops of war. Pharaoh- 
necho's defeat at Carchemish by Nebuchadnezzar (604) brought no relief to 
Judah ; for the Egyptian tyrant was now succeeded by the powerful and war- 
like king of Babylon, who, as the inheritor of the Assyrian sovereignty on this 
side the Tigris, renewed the plans of conquest of Shalmaneser and Senna- 
cherib. Within four years he subjugated the country of Syria, with the town 
of Jerusalem, plundered the temple, and carried off Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachin, 
together with the warriors and the principal men of the land, into the interior 
of his own kingdom. 

Zedekiah, the third son of Josiah (596-586), was set up as a tributaiy king 
over the defenceless remnant of the population left by Nebuchadnezzar in 
the conquered town ; and both city and country Avere oppressed with heavy 
bondage. But still the indomitable spirit of the Jews was not broken, the 
longing for freedom and independence yet glowed within them. No heed 
was paid to the prophetic voice of Jeremiah, who, despairing of the future of 
his country, admonished the people to submission and patience under the 
foreign yoke. 


In full confidence of receiving help from Egypt, Judah, with the king at 
her head, rose once more against the foreign despot, but with slight success. 
In spite of the brave defence of the Jews, Jerusalem, weakened by famine, fell, 
as Jeremiah had predicted, into the hands of the enemy (588 B.C.). Nebuchad- 
nezzar burnt the temple and town, laid hands on the sacred vessels and works 
of art, put out the eyes of the king, and, after killing both his sons, carried 
him off with the chief of the people in chains to captivity in Babylon (586). 
Only the poor country people were left behind, and placed under the com- 
mand of a man named Gedaliah, who took up his abode at Mizpah. 

But, detested as a partisan of the Chaldeans, Gedaliah was soon struck 
down by the hands of a murderer, when another leading away of the people 
into captivity ensued. Jeremiah, who had opposed the war with the Chaldeans, 
and had consequently been imprisoned during the siege, withdrew with a 
number of emigrants to Egypt, and bewailed in the " Lamentations " the 
destruction of his country. " How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of 
people ! How is she become as a widow ! she that was great among the nations, 
and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary ! She weepeth 
sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks. The ways of Zion do 
mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts." In their misery the Jews 
turned again to the God of their fathers ; their wretchedness was a means of 
regeneration ; through death Judah passed to a second life. By the waters of 
Babylon the captives listened once more to the voice of their priests and 
prophets, who, like Ezekiel and the great " Babylonian Isaiah," predicted 
their future return home ; and they found mercy in the sight of Jehovah. 
When a few decades had passed, Babylon was conquered by the Persians, and 
Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their homes, rendered them assistance, 
and gave up to them the plundered treasures belonging to the temple (539). 
" I stirred up Koresh (Cyrus), mine anointed, for a deliverer," cried the mighty 
unknown prophet, whose prophecies were subsequently collected with those 
of the elder Isaiah, " and I will make plain all his paths. He shall build me 
a city, and release my captives." 

But only a small portion of the people at first returned, under the guidance 
of Zerubbabel and Joshua, and they immediately set about the building of the 
temple. But as they repulsed the Samaritans, whom they looked upon as un- 
clean, the latter endeavoured, out of national hatred, to disturb their work in 
every possible manner. They contrived to obtain a prohibition of the rebuild- 
ing that had been commenced, which was consequently not completed till the 
reign of Darius (514), and was consecrated with atonements and thank-offer- 
ings. When Artaxerxes ruled over the Persians, fresh congregations of the 
people, generously supported by the king, and under the leadership of Ezra 
" the scribe," and Nehemiah, returned to their homes (457) ; and amid 
perpetual wars with their enemies, built the town, with walls and gates, and 
re-established the Mosaic code of laws. Nehemiah was a wealthy man, full 
of patriotism and the fear of God. He divided the people into two bodies ; 
and while the one kept guard fully equipped with sword and shield, the other 
was employed in building and carrying loads with their swords ready girded 
upon them ; so that while they put one hand to their work, the other was ready 
at need to grasp a weapon. 

Misfortune had taught the people that only in a steadfast fidelity to the 
faith of their fathers could they find safety and prosperity ; therefore from 
this time they turned conscientiously from idol-worship, and avoided all com- 
munication with idolatrous and heathen nations. All mixed marriages were 



dissolved, and the children born of such marriages were shut out from the 
community. By means of such exclusion, however, the Jewish kingdom 
gradually became a " sacred dominion," a hierarchical, priestly government, 
with an inflexible code of laws and observances. " While the stream of 

thought, with ice gathering at its margins, became continually narrower, 
Judaism drew around itself concentric circles, within which it fortified and 
shut itself from contact with a freer atmosphere." 

"thus SOLOMON FINISHED THE HOUSE OF THE LORD." — 2 Chronicles vii. II. 


Literature of the Israelites — Biblical Records. 

'T^HE literature of the Israelites, as well as 
-■- their history, government arrangements, 
and social existence, was permeated with the 
worship of Jehovah ; consequently their poetry, 
as the pouring forth of religious feeling, is en- 
tirely lyrical ; and the higher forms of poetic 
literature — the epic or heroic poem, based upon 
historical events freely treated and manipulated, 
and the drama, that depends on a clear con- 
ception of the real and a natural representation 
of life — are not found portrayed. The religion 
of Jehovah is the central point of the whole of 
the literature of the Israelites, which is divided 
into historical, poetic, and prophetic writings. 
The historic books contain the history of the 
establishment of the theocratic kingdom, with 
its strictly defined code of laAvs. Separated 
from the history of the nations that made up 
the world's story, and limited only to the par- 
ticular nation and people of Palestine, the older portions of these books 
exhibit an epic character in their strictly national and religious peculiarities. 
The poetic writings are in part purely lyric, as the psalms addressed tO' 
Jehovah, which David has imbued with their special character, though the 
chief part of the present collection, called the Psalter, or Psalms of David, does 
not proceed from him, or combined with some dramatic elements and an 

idyllic narrative as a foundation, as the " Song of Solomon ;" and partly 




didactic, as the glorious history of the devout, heavily afflicted Job and the 
glorification of the Divine Providence and Justice overruling the destinies of 
men, or the poetry of proverbs and wise sayings proceeding from the popular 
mouth, and collected and compiled under Solomon's name. This " liook of 
I Proverbs," which imparts its wisdom, either in simple aphorisms or ingenious 
[antitheses and similes, its moral and religious precepts having their origin in 
a rich experience of life, is, on account of its deep meaning and significant 
conciseness of expression, and its appropriate choice of images, specially 
adapted to the Oriental character ; and the practical life of many centuries, 
^ taking its root in morality and fear of God, is mirrored forth in " Solomon's 
I Proverbs," just as the inward religious life of the soul is set forth in the Psalms. 
The Psalms are the pearls of Hebrew poetry. A fiery stream of inspiration 
carries the poets strongly upward to the God who manifests himself, not as a 
Being living in creation and identified as its essence, but as the Lord ruling 
over nature as over a thing He has created. The language and expression 
have an elevation, the images a sublimity and grandeur, and, in their glorious 
fulness and reality, a stamp of power, the trustful prayer to God, the out- 
bursts of gratitude and praise, have an intensity, the lamentations a fervour, 
which have remained unequalled in the poetry of all nations and all times. 

Like the Psalms, the exhortations, denunciations, and precepts of the 
devout prophets, inspired by love of their religion and country, are a striking 
picture of the religious and spiritual development of the Israelitish nation. 
According to their belief, all happiness arises from the fulfilment of the com- 
mands of God, all unhappiness from the rejection of those commands ; ac- 
cordingly they see in all trials and misfortunes, both those that are past and 
j those that can be recognised as impending, the chastening and requiting hand 
I of God, and declare the only safeguard to consist in conversion and repent- 
I ance. This conversion and repentance Avas not to consist, however, in out- 
ward piety, sacrifices, prayers and fasts, but in moral improvement and 
righteousness of life. The idea of the almighty, holy God, as Moses had 
revealed Him, was their guiding star. From this point of view they de- 
nounced the evils of their time, prophesied a day of judgment, when all the 
wickedness which was the cause of the misery in the world should be de- 
stroyed ; and in the background there shone on their sight a mighty spiritual 
kingdom of God, in which virtue and piety prevail and find their reward. 
Entirely absorbed as the prophets were in the contemplation of Divine things, 
to which the longing and earnest tendency of their soul especially moved 
them, the words that streamed forth from their mouths are regarded not as 
their own, but as Jehovah's thoughts, warnings, threats, and commands, as a 
charge or burden from the Lord. 

The most remarkable of the divinely inspired prophets lived at the period 
of the Assyrian wars ; and among them, the elder Isaiah' stands grandly pro- 
minent. The Jews have accomplished little in science and art ; their cha- 
racter was inartistic, and their severe monotheism restricted the development 
of sculpture and painting. Hebrew writings are not the result of scientific 
thought or artistic creative power. They are throughout the expression of 
an ardently excited feeling, the cry of a soul languishing for God, and are 
raised and exalted by the stream of religious inspiration. For this very 
reason they speak so powerfully " from heart to heart." Handed down 
through many generations, these books unroll before us a complete picture 
of the growth of religion, from its first commencement to its fullest develop- 
ment ; and they thus form an imperishable treasure for the hopefulness of 



religious piety, and an inexhaustible mine for the theological enquirer. Israel 
has been the vessel in which the waters of life were collected, and wherein 
they were kept clear and cool for the refreshing of the world for all time. 

To the historical books of the Bible belong the following : the five books 
of Moses, or Pentateuch, which are not the work of a single author, but have 
been prepared at different periods by the priesthood from legend and tradition, 
and arc derived from ancient records, precepts, and institutions. The oldest 
portions, such as the records of the stages of the journey through the wilder- 
ness, and the most important laws, proceed without doubt from Moses himself ; 
while the others probably belong to the times of Samuel and the earliest 
kings. The last book of the Pentateuch was not compiled till towards the 
end of the 7th century B.C. (622), under king Josiah. 

After the exile a new record and review of the collection was undertaken 
by Ezra. The first book. Genesis (creation), contains the most ancient history 
of the human race, and the destinies of the Israelites until their sojourn in 
Egypt ; the second. Exodus ("going out"), treats principally of the calamities 
of the people in Egypt, the departure, and the law as delivered on Mount 
Sinai ; the third, Leviticus (book of priests), concerns itself with the religious 
and civil laws and the priestly office ; the fourth. Numbers (counting), contains, 
besides further laws and precepts, the number of the people, the register of 
the Jewish race, and the commencement of the conquest of Canaan ; the fifth, 
Deuteronomy, repeats the history of the wanderings in the desert and the 
most important laws, and then describes Moses' last words and death. The 
Book of Joshua recounts the conquest of Palestine under this leader, and the 
division of the country as it was projected, but never carried out. 

The Book of Judges, the most life-like historical book of the Israelites, 
which depends on verbal traditions and popular legends, on altars, monu- 
ments, and memorial places, treats of the heroic time of the Judaic people, 
and of the warlike deeds accomplished under the guidance of their divinely 
inspired champions. The idyllic historical incident which forms the substance 
of the book of Ruth, the ancestor of David, appears to have been written 
in glorification of this king, though later than his time. The two books of 
Samuel and the two books of Kings give a lifelike and instructive repre- 
sentation of the history of the Israelite people alike during the period of 
splendour, and the time of decline through the division, and the final leading 
away into captivity. Later, and of less importance, are the two books of 
Chronicles, which, besides containing a register of tribes, present chiefly 
the history of Judah and of the Levitical tribe. They are not a continuation 
of the books of Kings, but treat principally of the same period of time, 
though from a strictly sacerdotal and prophetic point of view. 

The last three historical books, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, — in the latter 
of which is represented the saving of the Jews by Esther, while in their 
captivity, from the danger threatened by Haman, — describe the destinies of 
the Jews on their return, and contain the account of the new building of the 


The Iranians. — Religion of the Medes and Persians. — The Magi 
OR Priests. — The Zend-Avesta and its Teachings. — Kings of 
THE Medes. — Conquest by the Persians. — Cyrus the Con- 
queror. — The Capture of Babylon. — Campaign against the 
Scythians. — Death of Cyrus. — Cambyses. — Customs, LA^vs, and 
Government of the Persians. — Summary. 


THE Medes and Persians 
to the Zend nation, and were con- 
sequently descendants of the primitive 
Iranians, who probably made their ear- 
liest settlement in Bactria. 

Like the kindred race of Aryans on 
the Indus, the Iranians at first wor- 
shipped the powers that ruled over the 
life of nature. The sun, which dispelled 
the winter frost and melted the snow 
on the mountains ; the morning dawn, 
which chased away the veil of night ; 
the blazing, mounting fire, the earthly 
reflection of the heavenly light, in whose 
rising flames the upward passage of the 
human soul to the eternal source of light 
was said to be symbolised, — were wor- 
shipped as divine beings by the shepherd 
people of Eastern Irania, as well as by 
the Aryans on the Indus ; while the 
parching winds, the terrors of the desert 
and wilderness, where the spirits of night and destruction dwelt, were 
dreaded as malicious demons. While, however, under the smiling sky of 
India, where nature only showed herself in her kindliest aspect, there arose 
the conception of a divine world-soul, from whom all creation took its origin, 
and the idea of a benevolent providence ; in Irania, where there existed great 
contrasts of nature and climate, there was developed that faith in good and 
evil spirits, benevolent powers of light and hostile powers of darkness, which 
forms the basis of every religion of nature, — a dualism, which in time was 


transferred from the domain of natural symbolism into that of ethics. But 
just as Indra always maintained the chief place in the popular faith of the 
Indian Aryans, so the sun-god Mithras was the principal divinity of the 
Iranians. This worship of nature was early formulated into a system by 
Zoroaster, an old philosopher and religious teacher, whose doctrines and pre- 
cepts are laid down in a sacred book, called the Zend-Avesta. Starting 
from the perception that good and evil exist in nature as in the human 
soul, and relying on the old dualistic creed of the people, he divided the 
universe and all created things into two kingdoms : the pure world of light, — 
under the divine prince Ormuzd or Ahuramasda, — which included everything 
good, pure, and holy ; and the world of darkness, — which was governed by the 
*' wicked one," Ahriman, or Ariamangus, — the abode of all that was pernicious, 
wicked, and destructive. Each of these principal gods had legions of similar 
spirits divided into ranks : Ormuzd the seven Amchaspands, with the Fervers 
or Fravachi and Izeds or Jazata ; and Ahriman the Dews, Devas, and Drudsha, 
also formed into classes and ranks. 

Both of these original principles had existed from the beginning, but Ormuzd 
was the more powerful. Undisturbed by his malicious opponent, he created the 
world with his sacred fiat, into a kingdom of light, in which only goodness and 
purity reigned. When he had retired, however, to his heavenly abode, Ahri- 
man, in the form of a serpent, entered the created world, and filled it with evil 
spirits, dangerous and impure animals, sin and wickedness. While Ormuzd 
was the creator of light, day, and life, Ahriman was the author of darkness, 
night, and death ; as Ormuzd created the bull, dog, and cock, Ahriman pro- 
duced the animals of prey, serpents, and poisonous insects ; while Ormuzd 
with his Fervers sought to keep men in the path of virtue and rectitude, Ahri- 
man lay in wait with his Devas for an opportunity of taking up his abode in 
the hearts of men in unguarded moments, and leading them into the ways of 
wickedness and sin. 

Thus an eternal war, an incessant struggle, is waged between the two powers 
to obtain the sovereignty over the world and the human race. But at the end 
of time the good principle will conquer, the kingdom of light will fill the world, 
and a state of everlasting happiness will commence. Then the servants of 
Ormuzd, whose souls after death have been found without blemish at the 
ordeal on the bridge Tchinavat, obtain glorified, luminous bodies, that cast no 
shadow, and enjoy at the throne of the god of light an eternal happiness and 
heavenly glory. Thus it is the duty of the worshipper of Ormuzd, during his 
earthly wandering, to resist the evil spirits with all his might ; he endeavours to 
propitiate them, or to appease their wrath with sacrifice and humiliation. In 
nature he combats them by the destruction of dangerous animals, and the 
assiduous cultivation of useful fruits and trees ; and in his own breast, by 
observance of the holy law, with prayer, and fire-worship, with religious con- 
verse and good deeds, with propitiatory sacrifices of bulls and horses, and at 
a later period, even of human beings. By attention to the " righteous law," in 
which, in the words of Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, Ormuzd has declared his com- 
mands, man is enabled to escape all the snares of the Devas, who roam through 
Turania, the wild desert country towards the north, whence the rapacious 
nomadic bands are accustomed to break into and overrun Iran, the kingdom 
of light. This theory afi'orded the priests or Magi an attractive opportunity 
for filling the Zend-Avesta with a number of precepts and statutes, which 
bowed down the life of the Iranians under the yoke of a slavish law. As 
Zoroaster had declared purity of thought, word, and deed, to be the securest 



safeguard against the Devas, the priests gave to the conceptions of purity 
an outward significance, and instituted a number of precepts, ceremonies, and 
observances, by means of which purity could be preserved, or in case it had 
been lost by an unwitting error, could be regained. With these rules of 
purification, sacrifice, prayer, and liturgical services, they transformed the 
religion of light into a slavish worship of the law. 

According to a tradition, the sacred book Zend-Avesta was burnt by 
Alexander the Great, with the exception of writings on the art of healing and 
astronomy, which he caused to be translated into Greek ; subsequently, however, 
the sacred books were restored from memory. Another and a more credible 

l|ll!^^^^^^«'-^- ' 


tradition declares that the sacred writings were collected anew under the rule 
of the Sassanides, in the second century of our era, and that a notification was 
then added, as to how much of the former contents of each book had been lost. 
According to this tradition, the Zend-Avesta had originally twenty-one books ; 
that is, the same number of books as there were words m the most sacred 
commandment of the worshippers of Ahuramasda : " How the Lord must be 
reverenced," etc. Of these one-and-twenty books of Persian tradition, only 
the twentieth, the Vendidad, has come down to us, and it principally owes its 
preservation to the rites of purification laid down in it,— and the \ aclia, a col- 



lection of invocations and hymns of praise to the gods, which probably once 
belonged to the first and fifteenth books, and perhaps has been preserved 
more or less independently of the great canon, through its use in the liturgy. 

For five centuries the Medes remained under the rule of the Assyrians, 
until, like brave men, they shook off the foreign yoke, and dwelt in independ- 
ence in their fruitful country, which was specially adapted to the breeding of 
horses. Soon, however, disorder and lawlessness crept in among them, and 
threatened to bring them once more into subjection under their powerful neigh- 
bour. The Medes therefore chose Dejokes (780-655 B.C.), who had won renown 

as a just and wise judge, to be their king. He at 
once surrounded himself with a body-guard of 
lance-bearers, and built, in a charming mountainous 
region, the new capital of Ecbatana, surrounded 
by seven walls, the innermost circle of which passed 
round the royal castle and treasure-house. He also 
established a hereditary military despotism, with 
spies, listeners, and informers, and with Oriental 
ceremonial and parade. His successor, Phraortes 
(655-633), commenced the great war against the 
Assyrian empire, but in a decisive encounter lost 
both battle and life. 

Under his son, Cyaxares (633-598), the Median 
territory was overrun and greatly injured by ra- 
pacious hordes of Scythian nomads from the 
Caucasian region, who for twenty-eight years held 
the country in oppressive bondage. The conquerors 
extended their depredations to the Syrian Ascalon 
and the boundaries of Egypt, and laid everything 
waste with violence and rapacity. At last, how- 
ever, the king of the Medes succeeded not only 
in liberating his country from the hostile nation 
of herdsmen, but, in conjunction with the Baby- 
lonian king, Nabopolassar, accomplished the con- 
quest and destruction of the kingdom of Nineveh, 
and materially enlarged his own territory (606). 
The new kingdom of Media founded by Cyaxares 
soon became so powerful, through extended con- 
quests, that it rivalled even the Babylonian em- 
pire. It included among its subjects the kindred 
race of Bactrians, and the Persians who had settled 
round Pasargada and Persepolis, and extended 
towards the west to the boundary river Halys. 
In artistic manufactures, the preparation of fine 
materials and rich colours, the Medes vied even with the inhabitants of 
the mighty city on the Euphrates, as is testified by the renown of Median 
stuffs throughout the whole ancient world. But already, under Astyages 
(593-529), the effeminate son of Cyaxares, the Persians obtained the sove- 
reignty over the Medes. Astyages, terrified at a dream, which had repre- 
sented the son of his daughter Mandane, as ruler over Asia in his stead, 
caused this daughter to be married to a prince of the subject race, so that 
no child of hers could be heir to the throne of Media. But her son, Cyrus 
(558-520), escaping in a wonderful manner from the death prepared for him. 




and brought up among the shepherd people, drove his grandfather from the 
throne by a successful insurrection, and became the founder of the Persian 

Subsequent attempts were made by the Medcs to regain the sovereignt)-, 
but all of them entirely failed. 

The Persians— Cyrus. 

Among the warlike mountain people 'called Persians, 
famed for their skill in riding and shooting arrows, 
who for centuries had pastured their herds, in patri- 
archal, simple fashion, and had carried on their sports 
and feuds in the beautiful "horse-country" of Farsistan, 
there arose, in the 6th century before Christ, a man 
named Cyrus, who surpassed all his contemporaries in 
power and heroism. He must have been one of those 
powerful men, who by their very appearance influence 
numbers to follow them ; and who, if they accomplish 
any great revolutions, are regarded by the nations as special instruments 
of God. He escaped by a wonderful fortune from the death prepared for 
him by his suspicious grandfather, Astyages ; liberated his people from their 
miserable slavery ; and after he had defeated the Medes in successive battles, 
and seized their throne, became the founder of a kingdom that embraced 
nearly all the civilized countries of Asia. 

During his thirty years' reign he subdued the two most powerful kingdoms 
of Babylon and Lydia, and a number of smaller nations partly free, parth' 
dependent. In Sardis, the capital of Lydia, Crcesus, whose name has become 
proverbial on account of his great wealth, at that time held sway over nearly 
all the tribes of Asia Minor. He was a credulous man, who relied more on 
oracles, dreams, and priestly prophecies than on his own strength. He 
was in league with Astyages, and endeavoured to replace his ally on the 
throne of Media, and therefore made war upon Cyrus ; but deceived by an 
ambiguous sentence of the oracle, he crossed the river Halys, only to suffer 
a complete defeat, which obliged him to make a precipitate retreat to his 
capital. Cyrus, however, followed him, conquered Sardis (549), and, accord- 
ing to tradition, commanded that the captive king should die in the flames. 
Croesus already sat bound with chains on the funeral pile, when the remem- 
brance of the Athenian philosopher, Solon, who had once Avarned him of the 
vicissitudes of fortune, and the uncertainty of all human things, saved him 
from destruction. Cyrus, struck with the truth of the proposition of Solon, 
"that no man can be pronounced happy before he dies," set the captive king 
at liberty, treated him with great respect, and referred to him for advice in 
every undertaking. 

The possession of Asia Minor, including the Greek colonies on the coast, 
which had either not assisted the Lydian king at all, or had given him but 
the feeblest support, was the fruit of the victory over Croesus. The Lydians, 
who, on account of an attempted rising, were deprived of their arms by 
Cyrus, and encouraged in peaceful pursuits, music, singing, and luxurious living, 
soon sank into a condition of self-indulgence and effeminacy ; so that in sub- 
sequent history they appear as a degenerate, unwarlike people. Some of the 
Greek colonists on the coast emigrated ; such as the Phoc.xans, the founders 
of Elea, in southern Italy, and Massilia, in Gallia; and the Teians, the inha- 



bitants of Tcos, who found a second home at Abdera, in Thrace. The 
remaining towns maintained their independent autonomy, and were only 
■compelled to pay a tribute. They remained wealthy and prosperous, but 
the genuine free Greek spirit diminished visibly under Persian rule. The 
islands followed the example of the continent, and after a feeble resistance 
•did homage to the powerful Persian king. 

With equal success Cyrus afterwards attacked and subjugated the Baby- 
lonian kingdom, where the captive Jews were still languishing in bondage. 
As the armies approached, a prophetic voice cried in the name of Jehovah : 
" To Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him ; and 
I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates. I will 


^o before thee, and make the crooked places straight ; I will break in pieces 
the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron." Repulsed in the field, 
the Babylonians retired into their strong city where their king, Belshazzar, 
had caused great quantities of provisions to be stored up, and mocked at the 
Persians who besieged the walls. But on one occasion, when they were 
celebrating a great festival, and were making merry together, the Persians, 
who had turned off the waters of the Euphrates through canals into an arti- 
ficial lake, entered the town by night, slew the king in his palace, and con- 
quered the country (539). Consequently, Syria, Palestine, and Phoenicia also 
fell under the dominion of the Persians, and the way to Egypt now lay open 
before them. " How hath the oppressor ceased ! " cried the same prophetic 




voice, " The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the 
rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that 
ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth." Cyrus gave 
back to the captive Jews the sacred vessels and utensils of the temple, which 
Nebuchadnezzar had in former days carried off from Jerusalem, and allowed 
them to return home. He probably intended them to prepare the way for 
him when he should march against Egypt. But an unfortunate campaign 
against the uncivilized, well-mounted, nomadic nation of the Massageta;, an 
offshoot of the Scythians, on the Caspian Sea, brought about the fall of the 
victorious king before he could turn his arms against the fertile valley of the 
Nile, By strategy Cyrus had got into his power a large portion of the 


enemy's army, with its leader, a son of Tomyris, queen of the Massagetae, 
which caused such vexation of spirit to the royal commander, that when 
Cyrus loosened his bonds, he killed himself with his own hand. Filled with 
sorrow and longing for revenge, the queen then collected all her people about 
her, and at the river Jaxartes obtained a complete victory over the Persians, 
in which Cyrus himself, with the flower of his army, was killed. 

The corpse of the powerful Persian king, whose sceptre had ruled all 
the nations from the Mediterranean sea to the Indus, was abandoned to the 
derision of a woman. Tomyris is said to have caused his head to be placed 
in a leather bag full of human blood, with the words, " Now mayst thou take 
thy fill of blood, since in life thou couldst not have enough ! " 




The reign of Cyrus' fierce and warlike son, Cambyses, the conqueror of 
Egypt, lasted only seven years (529-522 B.C.) ; but those years were full of 
calamity both for the Persians and the population of the Nile valley. The 
unfortunate king Psammenitus, who, after the battle of Pelusium, and the 
subsequent conquest of Memphis, fell into the hands of the victor, was com- 
pelled to witness the ill-treatment of his people and the dishonour of his 
children. For Cambyses, angry that the Egyptian king had given him the 
daughter of his predecessor in marriage, instead of his own, compelled the 

king's daughter and the 
most distinguished maidens 

of the country to assume 
the garb of slaves, and carry 
water ; and commanded 
that the king's son, with 
two thousand young Egyp- 
tians, should be led away 
to death. While all the 
spectators broke out into 
loud lamentations at the 
sight of such woe, Psam- 
menitus alone remained 
tearless. But when one of 
his former friends, who had 
been his intimate com- 
panion, now a beggar in his 
old age, passed before him 
soliciting alms of the sol- 
diers, he began to weep 
aloud. Questioned by Cam- 
byses as to the cause, he 
replied : " My domestic 
misfortunes are too great 
to be wept over, but the 
distress of a friend is de- 
serving of tears." Such 
depth of sorrow moved 
even Cambyses himself to 
compassion, and he treated 


the king with greater leni- 

ency. But when the latter 
was afterwards convicted of an attempt to incite the Egyptians to rebellion, 
he was compelled to drink the blood of a bull, whereupon he fell dead on the 
spot. The king's love of warfare proved disastrous to the Persians also. 
Not content with the subjugation of the fertile land of Egypt, he determined 
to conquer also the country of Ethiopia, with its wealth of gold, and the 
ancient ecclesiastical state of Ammonium on the oasis of Sirvah, in whose 
centre towered the temple of the ram-horned Zeus Ammon. But the two 
armies perished in the Libyan desert ; some of the soldiers fell a prey to 
hunger and exhaustion, while the rest were overwhelmed by the terrible whirl- 
wind of sand. 


I f : 

Furious at these disasters, Cambyses returned to Memphis. There he found 
a city rejoicing and c^aily decorated, for a new Apis had been found. Filled 
with the dark suspicion that the people were rejoicing over his misfortunes, he 
treated the Egyptians, and particularly the priests, with the greatest cruelty 
After striking the Apis dead with a dagger with his own hand, he caused 


some of the people and the priests to be tortured and put to death, committing 
cruelties without limit or measure. The hatred of the oppressed people 
accordingly caused them to ascribe the speedy death of the tyrant, who soon 
after expired from an accidental wound from his own sword, to the vengeance 
of the Egyptian gods for their desecrated temples and sanctuaries, and their 
murdered priests. 




Shortly before the death of the cruel and licentious Cambyses, an insur- 
rection had broken out in Susa, which, under the leadership of the Magian 
priesthood, appears to have had for its object the transferring the govern- 
ment of the kingdom once more from the Persians to the Medes, and of 
substituting for the customs and religious forms of the Persians the ancient 
Median precepts. In consequence of this movement, a Magian, who declared 
himself to be that royal brother Smerdis, who had been murdered some 
years before by Cambyses, out of suspicion, succeeded in obtaining the 
throne for a short time. But before his designs could be accomplished, the 
deception was discovered, and the " pseudo-Smerdis " was put to death after 
a reign of seven months. After this, Darius, the son of Hystaspes, of the 
royal house of Acha^menids, ascended the throne (522-485 B.C.). According to 
tradition, his elevation, by the seven chief nobles of the empire, was in con- 
sequence of an oracle of Mithras, the 
horse of Darius being the first to neigh 
at the rising sun. Darius, in addition 
to his noble descent, united the acute- 
ness and perseverance of a statesman 
with the earnestness and heroism of a 
warrior; and was moreover a devout 
believer in Zoroaster's religion of light, 
without inheriting the fanatical intoler- 
ance of his predecessor Cambyses ; and 
as the husband of Atossa, the daughter 
of Cyrus, he was esteemed and beloved 
by the Persian nation. He reigned for 
thirty-seven years with energy and 
wisdom. He divided his kingdom into 
twenty governments, under satraps, and 
he regulated the administration and 
taxation. " Twenty provinces," he says 
in the cuneiform inscriptions of Bagis- 
tan, " brought me tribute ; and what 
I commanded they accomplished by 
day and by night." 
Like his predecessor, Darius carried on great wars, made Arabia tributary, 
and extended the boundaries of his immense kingdom in India, in North 
Africa, and the wild steppes of the Scythians, But his arms were not in- 
variably victorious. The wandering Scythian tribes on the Lower Danube 
retreated with their tents and cattle, and abandoned their desolate fields and 
treeless wastes to their enemies, who, for want of provisions, were soon brought 
to the brink of destruction, and being pursued by the Scythians, would probably 
have perished on the banks of the Danube on their return journey, if the 
Greek princes, to whom the defence of the bridge was entrusted, had been 
able to agree concerning the destruction of it according to the advice of the 
Athenian Miltiades, then ruler of the Thracian Chersonesus. More fortunate 
was Darius in combating the insurrections which broke out in his kingdom. 
According to the cuneiform inscription of Bagistan, he won nineteen battles 
and took nine kings prisoners, who had set up as independent rulers in different 
parts of the Persian kingdom. 




Babylon, which had attempted, under a descendant of the Chaldean royal 
family, to free itself from Persian bondage, was re-conquered through the 
stratagem and self-sacrifice of a Persian nobleman, named Zopyrus, who muti- 
lated himself in order to win the confidence of the enemy ; and it was severely 
punished for its revolt. Miletus also, and the Greek towns in Asia Minor, 
expiated their attempts at freedom by a still more cruel slavery. In order to 
immortalize the hard-won unity of the kingdom by a symbolical monument, 
Darius caused the new capital and city of the dead, Persepolis, to be built by 
native and foreign builders ; a city which was to be for the whole empire 
what Pasargadae (that is, the camp of the Persians) was for the district of 
Persis. Persepolis became, as it were, the outward exemplification or symbol 
of Djemshid, the worshipper of light, immortalized in popular tradition. 

Customs, Lazvs, and Govennnent of the Persians. Races and Tribes. — 
Persia was fitted by natural conditions, both for agricultural and pastoral life, 
as well as for the development of a warlike race of mountaineers. The ten 
tribes of the nation (wandering, agricultural, warlike tribes) therefore shared 
between them these three occupations; while the government remained in the 

hands of three military, aristocratic races, among whom the Pasargadians 
held the first rank, from whose noblest branch, the Achaimenides, sprang 
the line of kings. From among them were chosen the officials, military 
leaders, retinue, "companions," and "guests" of the king. The Persians com- 
posed a ruling aristocracy in comparison with the remaining tribes. They 
were free from taxation, and whenever the king passed through the country, 
it was the custom for him to distribute money and presents among the people. 
Their male children were brought up under a careful system of instruction. 

Fonn of Relig^ion. — The Ormuzd doctrine of Zoroaster was altered in 
various respects by the Persians. The sacred fire and sun, to which wlutc 
horses were dedicated, formed the central point of Persian religion, which was 
based on the worship of nature and the stars. The worship of Mithras, asso- 
ciated with mysteries, and which was .symbolized by the representation of a 
youth killing a bull, had also a connection with sun and star worship. The 
Median priestly tribe of Magians was transferred to the Persians. 

Court Life. — The most unbounded despotism prevailed in Persia, the king 
being invested with the religious sanctity of a caste state, and with the patri- 



archal omnipotence of a nomad prince. Every man was the slave of the king, 
who held in his hand the lives of all. Whoever was permitted to come into his 
presence had to prostrate himself and press the ground with his lips. As the 
throne of Ormuzd was surrounded by spirits of light, so also was the throne 
of the Persian king, his representative, surrounded by a numerous and brilliant 
court retinue, maintained in the greatest magnificence, with seven chief court 
officials, and a special priestly adviser as judge, soothsayer, interpreter, etc., 
at the head. 

The offices of chief cup-bearer, bow-bearer, door-keeper, herald, staff- 
bearer, and a number of others, were posts of honour for noble Persians, 
who were rewarded with gifts of honour, Avith dishes from the royal house- 
hold, and other marks of distinction. A body-guard, composed of 2,000 


chosen horsemen, and the same number of lance-bearers on foot, with gold 
and silver pomegranates on their lances, formed the guard that surrounded 
and protected the king and his court. The king's table was spread with the 
choicest wines and viands brought from distant lands. The court changed 
its residence with the time of year : it passed the winter in hot Babylon, 
the spring at Susa, and the summer in cool Ecbatana. Numerous pleasure 
gardens or paradises for the cultivation of fruit, and preserves for the 
maintenance of game, served for the refined enjoyment of the Persian king 
on his journeys. For communication between the country and the chief 
towns there were high-roads and regular state messengers on horseback, 
placed at post stations, who, without regard to the time of day or year, 
transmitted the king's letters and messages. Nothing equalled the speed of 
these riding messengers. Both letters and travellers were very carefully 
watched. Guards were posted at al! difficult and dangerous spots, bridges, 
and passes, who examined the letters and questioned the travellers concerning 


their business, so that no conspiracy should arise. The road from Sardis to 
Susa, which was -^-^y miles in length, had 1 11 such stations. 

The luxury of the Persian kings was, however, chiefly displayed in their 
harems, where numbers of luxurious, intriguing women, to whom were often 
allotted the revenues of w^hole towns and provinces for their dress and 
personal adornment, ministered, sometimes as wives and sometimes as con- 
cubines, to the pleasure of their masters, encouraged them in the pursuit of 
sensual and enervating pleasures, and with the eunuchs placed in their service, 
squandered enormous sums, and exerted a pernicious influence on the Govern- 
ment, and the life of the court and the empire. 

Administration, and Satrap Government. — The whole country was regarded 
as the property of the king ; therefore all tributes from the oppressed people, 
as well as the revenues flowing in from the royal dues, with voluntary gifts, 
came to swell the private treasure of the monarch. The maintenance of the 
court, the army, and government officials, etc., was defrayed from taxes on the 
precious metals and natural products of each province. The provinces were 
governed by satraps, or viceroys, each of whom had a numerous and expensive 
retinue after the model of the royal court, to support which he levied taxes in 
money and natural products throughout every part of the territory he ruled. 
As the satraps were mostly related to the king, and entrusted with great 
power, the provinces had no protection from their exactions and their oppres- 
sive despotism ; and the governors had only to render scrupulously to the 
-court, year by year, the taxes that were due, and they could rule according to 
their will and pleasure, "and satisfy their covetousness and love of luxury at 
the expense of their toiling subjects. When the originally separate civil and 
military power was united in the hands of the satraps, they became so 
powerful that they paid little heed to the royal commands, and frequently 
came forth with arms in their hands to offer their rulers a haughty defiance ; 
and thus they gradually brought about the internal dismemberment of the 

The supervision and punishment of suspected and guilty persons then 
became more and more severe ; obedience was to be maintained by fear 
and terror ; cruel punishments by death and mutilation were inflicted on the 
most distinguished persons ; secret spies and informers, " the eyes and ears 
•of kings," reported on the conduct of governors and officials ; denunciations 
were encouraged and rewarded. Besides the oppressive taxation, the main- 
tenance of a numerous standing army, partly composed of mercenary troops, 
was a grievous burden to the provinces. " From every point of view the 
Medo-Persian kingdom was, and continued to be, an accumulation of con- 
stituents of different kinds mechanically brought together, bound by no 
inner tie, and governed and set in motion by no lever except fear and terror," 
— an aggregate of countries and peoples, which were the more loosely bound 
to the central power of the land, the more distant they were from it. 

On the other hand, the Persian despotism spared the national peculiarities 
of the provinces. Satisfied if the royal commands were scrupulously obeyed, 
and every demand was complied with, the Persian Government allowed the 
subject races to retain, as a rule, their patriarchal laws and customs, religious 
faith and worship, sometimes even their native princes ; but nevertheless the 
provinces gradually sank into barbarism, " for no definite position, established 
by fixed laws, protected them from the tyranny and misdeeds of the satraps 
and their ministers ; oppressive taxation consumed their possessions, and 
though their nationality was not destroyed by treachery and violence, it 



dwindled through the loss of their political independence, without which 
national feeling invariably loses its energy and power of development." 

Ari/iy System. — The number of the Persian soldiery was very considerable, 
for every subject capable of bearing arms was obliged to take military service. 
The troops were dispersed in mustering-places and fortresses throughout the 
country, and were only called together in time of need by a common com- 
mand. The nucleus of the army was composed of a division of I0,000 foot 
soldiers, called "the immortals," because their number was always kept 
complete, and every gap was immediately filled up. The dress and arms 
of the soldiers were diversified in the highest degree, as the troops of the 
different nations came forth in their national costume and martial equipments, 
which, in conjunction with an interminable crowd of servants, slaves, and 
women, splendid war-chariots and baggage, produced a strange, heterogeneous 
medley, and gave the procession the appearance of a national pilgrimage. 
The king, as a rule, took up his station in the centre of the army, in a war- 
chariot drawn by Nicean horses, in the full splendour of his royal ofifice, and 
armed with bow and arrows. He was surrounded by the Persian chiefs and 
nobles, and protected by his body-guard and the guard of the ten thousand. 
Near him was raised the national standard, bearing a golden eagle with 
outspread wings ; and in front of him was the golden sun-chariot, drawn by 
snow-white horses. The battle was usually commenced with a dense shower 
of arrows, and then the troops fought with swords and lances. In the 
pitching, the arrangement, and the strengthening of their tents, the Persians 
possessed great skill and dexterity. From the great number of the cavalry, 
confusion and disorder frequently occurred during night attacks. 

The Persians accomplished but little in science and literature ; never- 
theless the mighty ruins of the charmingly situated Persepolis, comprising 
remains of royal castles and palaces, with gateways, colonnades, marble stair- 
cases, and walls covered with inscriptions and figures, as well as the tombs of 
the kings, the numerous remains of statues, bas-reliefs, and other sculptured 
works representing gods, symbolical monster animals, subjugated nations, 
messengers bearing presents, and serving courtiers in splendid attire, afford 
an exact representation of the whole life of the Persian community, and prove 
that in art, particularly architecture and sculpture, the people were not behind 
other civilized nations of the East. 





¥ Ave now, in conclusion, cast a re- 
trospective glance at the nations 
which we have classified under the com- 
prehensive title of " Eastern," we shall 
perceive, in spite of the wide extent of 
the countries they inhabit, and the di- 
versity of the forms of life and civiliza- 
tion they created, certain characteristic 
peculiarities, according to which we can 
divide them into distinct national groups, 
defined by some internal relationship. 
On the threshold of history, we find in 
the extreme east the Chinese nation, in 
Avhich the Mongolian race has reached 
the highest point of its attainable de- 
velopment. As its typical character and 
stagnating civilization was thrust back 
by the more powerful Caucasian race, 
the civilized life of the Chinese has re- 
mained limited by the similar tribes sur- 
rounding it, and has exerted no influence 
on the general process of human develop- 
ment, which received its impulse and 
strength for progress from the changing destinies of the Caucasian race alone. 
More extensive was the influence of the Egyptian nation, which, in the 
north-east of Africa, on the boundary of the two portions of the eastern world, 
maintained its isolated civilization, though with less exclusivcncss than the 
Chinese. As the descendants of a blending of the Ethiopian and Caucasian 
races, the Egyptians were not called upon to appear in history as the faithful 
upholders to the human race of the glowing spark of divinity, however great 
may have been the influence of many of their elements of civilization on the 
childhood and youth of the Caucasian tribes. With praise\\-orth)' patience 
and perseverance, the people of the Nile developed those fixed forms in 
which they engraved their artistic and religious life and the whole variety of 
their earthly existence, and which, through the power of their unchangeablc- 



ness and calmness, exerted a great influence on the restless spirit of the 
young nations of European antiquity, and to which, with all the tenacity of 
the Oriental character, they themselves remained faithful for thousands of 
years. Even on the invincible power of death, which brings about the cor- 
ruption of all created things in order to clear new space for the eternal 
creative power of life, the Egyptians sought to impose a limit, and at least 
preserve the human form and features from its destructive might. The eternal 
order and regularity which they perceived in the heavenly bodies, that gave 
to the river of their country its fructifying power and kept off the deadly 
glowing breath of the desert, must have governed and penetrated the whole 
life of the Egyptians, and every aspect of their existence. The silent force 
of their fixed forms acted powerfully on their contemporaries and on pos- 
terity. But this influence was animated by no living breath ; it produced no 
new energetic forms of life. Like their pyramids and mummies, the whole 
civilization of the Egyptians remained like a withered branch on the tree of 
humanity. The theosophical speculations of the priests as to a divine being, 
from whom emanated the creative powers of mind, remained foreign to the 
perception and worship of the people. 

Between these two nations, the nation of fixed form and that of unchanging 
conservatism, we find two races who exerted the most powerful influence on 
the development of the human race, — the Aryans and the Semitic race. In 
the intellectual creations produced by these two national groups lie the roots 
of our whole western civilization. If the foregoing description has brought 
before our notice only two great families of the Aryan race, the Indians and 
the Iranians, with their ramifications of Bactrians, Medes, and Persians, the 
mental, moral, and physical power of some of them is of such importance, 
that there is nothing self-contradictory in the theory, according to which the 
principal civilized nations of Europe have emanated from them. 

The Aryans in India and Irania developed forms of civilization which, 
springing from the same root, extended themselves in different directions 
through the influence of surrounding nature. In the fruitful country of the 
Ganges, where, under a smiling sky, fields and woods lie extended in rare 
luxuriance, the Aryans followed their innate tendency to tranquillity and 
contemplation, and cultivated their mental and spiritual life with such exclu- 
siveness that the world and outward nature lost all truth and reality in their 
eyes ; they turned away from practical and active life, and found their only 
satisfaction in the world of imagination, and in contemplation of the divine. 
The priests and philosophers peopled heaven and earth with hosts of divinities 
and spiritual beings, which they associated into a unity under the original . 
conception of Brahma, as the chief divinity and world-soul ; this idea of 
Brahma was gradually brought to such a pitch of abstraction through the 
marvellous mental activity of Indian theologians, that it lost all form, and 
could no longer be grasped by the multitude. 

The people accordingly continued to offer their prayers and sacrifices 
to the primitive forces of nature, and edified themselves with the legends 
and wonderful traditions with which the Brahmins exercised their imagin- 
ation ; while the Brahmins themselves continually carried their speculations 
to a greater extreme. Only Brahma, the impersonal world-spirit, in whom 
everything had its origin, and to whom everything must return in its eternal 
course, had, for them, real existence ; everything besides was appearance 
and a delusion of the senses, from which influence the philosopher must 
seek with all his power to free himself. Only when the flesh had been 


mortified by rigorous asceticism, every allurement of the senses repressed, 
and the bodily existence as it were extinguished, could there be a return 
to the great, divine source of power, and the human soul at last find its 
longed-for rest in the bosom of Brahma. Though this all-absorbing pan- 
theism was somewhat modified in time through the influence of Buddhist 
rationalism, and the point of its consistency was broken, yet the whole 
Indian character was so much out of harmony with material and practical life, 
that even this reaction produced no essential change in the life of the people, 
no active energy gained a position for itself, and the path to true cultivation 
of mind remained untrodden. Nature and humanity were only esteemed 
by the Indians in so far as they proceeded from Brahma ; philanthropy 
never overstepped the limits of caste ; it scarcely attained to the point of 
national feeling and patriotism ; while universal human love was an idea that 
had never been conceived in the mind of man on the Ganges and Indus. 

On the other hand, spiritual life developed itself in another direction among 
the Aryans in Irania, where the contrasts of nature and climate, the alternation 
of fruitful districts and sandy deserts, of the fierce sun-heat and the frost of 
winter, generated the belief in a twofold aspect of divine power ; and the toil 
and struggle to procure the necessaries of existence, kept the nation energetic 
and vigorous. 

In Irania, the land of contrasts, the conception of divinity could not shape itself 
into a unity, as in the beautiful country of the Ganges, and the irreconcilable 
discord which the Iranian perceived in the world of reality, was of necessity 
reflected in his religious conceptions. He pictured to himself a spiritual 
kingdom over, and outside of, nature, and peopled it with hosts of good and 
evil spirits, who respectively made the redemption and the destruction of 
the world and humanity the aim and object of their labours and struggles. 
According to the Indian, the w^hole of nature is given up to^ evil and 
destruction ; according to the Parsee, only that part of it originating in 
Ahriman. His life's task, therefore, did not, like the Indian's, consist in the 
dissolution and nullification of material existence, but in the combating of 
the malignant demons, both in outward nature and in his own breast, in 
order that the spirit^ of light, the ministers of Ormuzd, might obtain the 

This practical and moral task formed the groundwork of Zoroaster's 
doctrine laid down in the Zend-Avesta ; and so powerfully did this teaching 
affect social and active life, that the most ancient Greek authors extol tlie 
moral purity, truthfulness, and industry of the Iranians. The ceremonial 
worship and precepts of purification, with which the INIagian priesthood 
subsequently fettered the national life and restricted the free development 
of energy, never obtained such a hold of practical life as to paralyze active 
enterprise, stifle delight in nature, or represent an existence of dreams and 
of penance as the highest aim of life. The Iranians unfolded a great 
historical existence ; powerful characters, such as Cyrus and Darius, made 
their appearance among them ; the institution of caste found no room for 
development ; while in India, human history succumbed under a religion ot 
myths and forms of government ; the ruling personages^ became shadowy 
representatives of a deity and mere executors of ecclesiastical laws ; and 
individual energy was lost in the tyranny of caste. However much particular 
directions of mental development were found prevailing here and there 
among the Aryans, and though some exaggerations may have shown them- 
selves, a certain proportion of spiritual powers, and a harmonious advance 



towards one aim, always remained as a national characteristic. With the 
Semitic people, on the contrary, the opposing elements were found side by 
side, and they divided their adoration between the material and spiritual ; 

Among the Babylonians and Phoenicians, the most ancient nations of this 
race who worked out their peculiar form of civilization, the veneration of 
the animating and creative powers of nature led to a worship replete with 
voluptuous sensuality and impurity, from which arose a gloomy ceremonial 
of human sacrifices and self-mutilation, exhibiting in the whole life of these 
nations an extraordinary alternation of contrasts — extravagant indulgence in 
pleasures existing side by side with a dreary abandonment to lamentation 
and despair. Effeminate love of pleasure alternated here with terrible self- j 
torture, without any intermediate or transitional state. The Babylonians 
also sought to discover the laws of nature and human life in the stars, and 
were the originators of astronomy, with its spurious offspring astrology. 
Active and ingenious, both these nations devoted their energy and industrious 
spirit of inquiry to trade, industry, and navigation ; by which they became 
the negotiators between east and west, carrying forth eastern civilization 
and diffusing it among the still undeveloped west. The shrewdness and 
cunning of the Sidonians, the bold, enterprising spirit of the Tyrians, and 
the wealth and splendour of the Babylonians were renowned throughout the 
whole ancient world. Nor did they neglect the art of war, though they 
were surpassed in this by the kindred nation of Assyrians at Nineveh. 
Moreover, the honour of having first established a regular government and 
administration of fixed laws, and of having secured the personal liberty 
of the people from despotism and tyranny, must be accorded to them. 
Besides the art of war, the Assyrians also cultivated such arts as architecture 
and sculpture, as shown by the remarkable monuments which in our own 
day have been excavated from the earth, where they have lain for a period of 
between three and four thousand years. 

Between the Chaldean and the Assyrian kingdoms in the east, and the 
masters of the seas, the trading people on the Phoenician coasts in the west, 
the apparently insignificant Hebrew people — whose ancestors had at one time 
descended from the border mountains of Armenia and the upper course of the 
Euphrates and Tigris — had conquered for themselves secure positions on the 
slopes of Lebanon and the green hills of Jezreel and Judah. They stood 
opposed as hostile intruders to the ancient Canaanite population, although 
claiming kindred with them. This hostile position of antagonisrn, which they 
intensified by their national exclusiveness and by their peculiar customs, insti- 
tutions, and religious practices, that were entirely at variance with the heathen 
character of the neighbouring nations, placed the Israelitish people in an 
isolated position, and caused them to remain faithful to the belief in the God 
of their fathers, Jehovah, which they had inherited from their ancestors, and to 
return with their old fervour and piety after every transitory wandering. The 
more extravagant became the worship of pleasure and effeminacy around 
them, and the higher the flames rose from the fiery altars of Moloch, the more 
entirely and steadfastly did the Hebrews cling to their conception of Jehovah, 
until at last they were able to regard Him as a spiritually and morally 
perfect being, for whose sublime majesty nature is nothing more than a foot- 
stool. The leisure which remained to them from tending their herds, and 
cultivating their fields and gardens of figs and vines, they dedicated to the 
service of Jehovah, in whose honour they composed their lyric poetry, and the 




prophets proclaimed their exalted inspirations ; and the warlike deeds to 
which they were impelled by the hostile neighbourini,^ tribes were handed 
down in faithful traditions until an advanced civilization clothed them in his- 
torical forms. Their position between the two victorious powers of Assyria 
and Egypt at last involved them in w^ars for which their feeble powers were 
insufficient. After heroic struggles, Israel first succumbed to the military skill 
of the kings of Nineveh, and then Judah submitted to the vigorous youthful 
Chaldean Government at Babylon. The people were carried away to " the 
towns of the Medes " and " the water-brooks of Babylon," where they found in 
reliance on Jehovah their only support and consolation under the miseries of 


slavery and the contempt of the foreign people. In Ilim they sought to find 
their comforter and their true sovereign, when sorrow and longing filled their 

But the days of the Assyrians and Babylonians also were numbered. In 
conjunction with the Medes, the Chaldean king, Nebuchadnezzar, had broken 
the power of Nineveh, and had led the Babylonian nation to victory and 
dominion. Nevertheless, it was from the heart of the kingdom of Media that 
the mighty kingdom of Persia originated, which, under the leadership of a 
hero-king, and from innate youthful vigour, quickly attained an extent 
reached by none of the earlier kingdoms. Not only were the Semitic nations 




and towns compelled to attach themselves as members to the giant-body o 
Persia, Egypt also obeyed the commands of the ruler of Susa and Persepolis 
the numerous tribes of Asia Minor, with the wealthy king Croesus, of Lydia, 
at their head, did homage to the all-dominating sovereignty of Persia ; and 
the Greek trading towns on the coast of the ^gean Sea, with their exalted ( 
artistic life, adorned like a purple hem the royal robe of the " great king."' 
The Persians did not, however, possess the administrative and originative- 
power necessary for the subjugation and union of the various popular elements. 
Thus, races and tribes differing in character and religion, in manners and 
language, in habits of life and warfare, dwelt near each other without any 
inward bond of union ; and thus the empire formed a gigantic community 
that did not possess the animating spirit and the powxr that arise from a 
well-regulated organization. Relying on a multitude mechanically brought 
together, the mighty king whose empire extended from the snowy peaks of 
the Hindukhu mountains to the Egyptian deserts and the mouth of the 
Danube, led his countless troops against the Greek, in order to add their 
small states as tributary members to his boundless dominion ; but here the 
gigantic structure of his power was dashed to pieces against a mysterious 
might unknown to the eastern nations — the might arising from self-govern- 
ment, individual freedom, and the development of national strength among 
the Hellenes. 



Greece and its Inhabitants. — The Peninsula. — Northern Greece. 
— Central Greece or Hellas. — Attica. — Boeotia.— ^Phocis. — 
Doris. — Locus ^tolia. — Acarnania. — Megaris. — The Pelo- 
ponnesus. — Phliasia. — Laconia. — Messenia. — Elis. — The Greek 
Islands. — The Religion of the Ancient Greeks. — Theogonic 
Theory. — The Gods of Greece. 

GREECE is the southern 
part of a large peninsula, 
which in the north is broad and 
regular, and in the south narrow, 
irregular, and abounding in in- 
dentations. It is intersected by- 
many mountain ranges, and con- 
sists of mountainous and hilly- 
districts, which divide the country 
into a number of small isolated 
portions forming separate coun- 
tries, and encourage the develop- 
ment of many independent states, 
similar to the cantons of Switzer- 
In the north the peninsula is crossed by a high mountain range, called 
Haemus, or Balkan ; at its eastern extremity, stretching from the ^Vdriatic to 
the Black Sea, on the southern slopes of which lie the wild, mountainous 
countries of Illyria, Macedonia, and Thrace, which, besides containing hilly 
districts, rich here and there in gold and silver mines, and covered with woods, 
are intersected by valleys and plains of great fertility. They extend soutii- 
wards to the ^gean Sea, which divides Greece from Asia Minor, and from 
which the narrow straits of the Hellespont (Dardanelles) open into the little 
basin of the Propontis, or the Sea of Marmora, and from this the still 
naiTower and river-like straits of Bosphorus lead into the "hospitable "' Black 


P ,^, 




Sea, the Pontus Euxinus. The coasts of Thrace and Macedonia were covered 
with Greek colonies. 

The peninsula has no important- rivers ; the principal are the Ilcbrus or 
Maritza, the Strymon, and Axius or Vardar. The capital of Macedonia, which 
was inhabited by many warlike races, was Pella, which in the time of Philip 
and Alexander won the supremacy from the ancient hero-city of Edessa, 
with its tombs of the kings. South of Illyria and Macedonia lay : 

I. NortJieni Greece, consisting of Epirus and Thcssaly, between which the 
wiM, rugged, rocky mountain range of Pindus — almost always covered with 
snow, the principal nucleus of all the Greek mountains — stretches from north 
to south. The former is a wild, mountainous country with rocky passes, 
inhabited by various, but chiefly Pelasgian, races of hardy and warlike 
character, whose princes at a solemn sacrifice, held every year at the village 
of Passaron, swore to govern according to the laws, and in return for this 
declaration received an oath of fidelity from the people. 

In the south is Molossia, with the chief town Ambracia (Arta), on the bay 
with the same name; and in the north, on the borders of Macedonia, is Dodona, 
with an oracle of Zeus, and remarkable from its antiquity. 

Further north, on the coast of Illyria, lay Epidamnus (Dyrrachium), a 
Corinthian colony. 

Thessaly is a region shut in by different arms of the Pindus range, and 
possesses fruitful plains and luxuriant pastures suitable for horse-breeding. 
It is watered by the peaceful stream Peneius (Salambria), whose banks, sur- 
rounded by rocky walls rich in grottoes, and covered with bushes in picturesque 
luxuriance, form near its mouth the vale of Tempe, celebrated for its sylvan 
beauties, situated between Mount Olympus, "the many-peaked seat of the 
gods," and Mount Ossa. 

Mount Pelion, on the peninsula of Magnesia, forms the termination of the 
mountain range on the east, but ridges extending still farther towards Euboea 
and the other islands may be traced. Among the towns of Thessaly are to 
be remarked Larissa, on the Peneius; the old Pelasgian capital, lolchos, and 
Lamia on two bays ; Pharsalos, and not far from it, CynoscephaLx (dogs' 
heads), famous as a battlefield. Thessaly was governed by valiant noble 
families, who fought like men-at-arms in the battlefield. Brave, and proud 
of their national independence, but without appreciation of a general Hellenic 
community, the Thessalian aristocracy devoted their chief attention to rear- 
ing horses, tournaments, hunting, the pleasures of the table, and petty border 
feuds. No comprehensive national life could take root in the country. Thus 
the beautiful, fertile plain, intersected by mountains and ridges of hills, was 
broken up into a number of independent towns and districts, governed by 
wealthy families, who, for the period of duration of a general warlike under- 
taking, chose a duke or tagos, who was invested with dictatorial authority; 
while at other times they maintained a selfish, isolated form of existence. 
Hospitality, love of splendour, and candour, formed the better aspect of the 
national character, especially among the nobility ; but selfishness and sensuality 
in time destroyed alike manly honest feeling and warlike virtue. 

The southern boundary barrier of Thessaly is formed by the wild Othrys 
chain and the mountain range of CEta ; between its base and the shores of 
the bay lies a narrow ravine, which formed the only natural means of access 
from Thessaly to Hellas. This is the celebrated two-mile pass, the "Hot 
Gates" of Thermopylae, which was so narrow in two places between the 
projecting Callidromos mountain and the marshy sea-coast, that two convey- 


ances could not pass each other. It derives its name from the hot springs, 
which even at the present time continue to bubble up from the side of the 

II. Central Greece, or Hellas.— In the cast, as far as the promontory of 
Sunion, Hellas is intersected by ridges of the GEta, among which Pentelicus, 
in Attica, is celebrated for its marble, the verdant Hymettos for its honey, 
and Mount Laurion for its mines. Other ranges extend from Epirus in a 
south-eastern direction, and form the mountains of Parnassus, Helicon, and 
Cithaeron, renowned in the religious worship of the Greeks as shrines of the 
Muses, — the pastoral beauty of their woods and streams exciting the genius 
of the poet, and the voice of nature seeming to call upon man to join in song. 

Parnassus, the most remarkable of these mountains, is over 7,000 feet in 
height, and is a bare, rocky mass of bluish-grey limestone, rising almost 
perpendicularly from the plain with imposing majesty. The largest rivers 
are the Achelous and the Cephissus, falling into Lake Copais. The small 
river Ilissus flows near Athens. 

Hellas is divided into the following states : — Attica (containing 500,000 
inhabitants at the time of the Peloponnesian war, of whom 40,000 were slaves), 
a hilly country of no great fertility, rich only in olives, figs, honey, and wax, 
with the capital, Athens, and the seaport Piraeus, situated on the peninsula 
of Munychia {which was transformed by Themistocles into a harbour and 
dockyard in place of the old port Phaleron, and after the Persian war was 
united with Athens by two walls running out in an elliptical form); Eleusis, 
the renowned centre of the worship of Demeter and secret rites (mysteries), 
with a sacred road adorned with many monuments leading up to its venerable 
sanctuary, and with the battlefield on the plains of Marathon. Originally an 
independent ecclesiastical state, its foundation, according to tradition, dates 
back to the Pelasgian Ogen and the Thracian Eumolpus. Eleusis preserved, 
even after its union with Athens, the statutes, doctrines, and customs of an 
eastern theory of the world and of life, which were preserved in the sacred 
mysteries. Opposite Athens, in the Gulf of ^Egina, lay the populous island 
of vEgina, remarkable for its advanced civilization, its navigation, and artistic 
genius, where king Pheidon, of Argos, caused the first coins to be struck, and 
470,000 slaves were compelled to serve their proud, cruel merchant-masters ; 
also Salamis, celebrated for its sea-battle. 

Bceotia, a fertile country with flourishing cornfields, surrounding Lake 
Copais, which in the summer is nearly dry, its waters draining off into the 
sea through underground canals, called katabothren or eniissaria. In its 
vicinity was Orchomenos, prosperous in wealth and commerce ; it was the 
ancient seat of the Minyae, and contains some remarkable ruins. The country 
of Boeotia united the advantages of both coast and inland, for it communicated 
with the chief highways of Greek navigation, and fostered within itself an 
abundance of resources. Luxuriant pastures extended along the banks of 
rivers and lakes ; corn and vines flourished plentifully, and in agriculture and 
horse-rearing the country had a pre-eminence over all the neighbouring districts. 
It was thickly populated by a vigorous race ; the Boeotian men were famed 
for their strength, and the women for their beauty. At the head of a con- 
federacy of fourteen Boeotian districts, stood Thebes, with its seven gates 
and the citadel Cadmeia. Boeotia was the scene of the majority of wars, 
consequently many places are famed for great battles, as for instance, heroic 
Plataea, on the Cithaeron, near the confines of Attica (celebrated for its battle, 
479, its siege, 429-427), which as early as the year 510 B.C. placed itself under 



the protectorship of Athens; DcHon, on the banks of the Euripus, which aaw 
a battle fought in 424 ; Coroneia, with battles in 447 and 394 ; Lcuctra, the 
scene of the great struggle in 371 ; and Chseroneia, with a battle in 338. Of 
the remaining places, the following are deserving of notice : the sea-port Aulis, 
on the Euripus; Tanagra, on a steep eminence in a neighbourhood abounding 
with vines; Haliartus, on Lake Copais; Thespia, etc. Boeotia was frequently 
visited by earthquakes, in one of which Orchomenos w-as destroyed. The 
legend of the sinking of the prophet Amphiaraus, with his four companions, in 
the hilly country of Tanagra, may probably be referred to such a convulsion 
of the earth. 

P/iocis, with the steep, rocky mountain, Parnassus, and its gigantic natural 
surroundings, and Castalia, the Muses' spring. At the foot of Parnassus, in 


a spot which was regarded as the " omphalon " of the earth, stood the sacred 
temple town of Delphi, with its famed oracle of Apollo, and numberless 
works of art and splendid buildings. The temple-town— which was built on a 
pinnacle of the mountain, and rested on the southern side on more than thirt}- 
terraces, supported by strong foundation walls— with its wild natural beauty, 
and alternation of rocks with woods, grottoes, and streams, rugged moun- 
tains and fruitful plains, created a powerful impression, and filled spec- 
tators with an emotion of religious fervour. Besides the town of Delphi, 
there are still to be noticed the very ancient Daulis, of mythical Ihracc ; the 
strong town Elateia, and the accursed places Crissa and Cirrha which, on 
account of an encroachment on the property of the temple, and the practice 
of usury at the expense of numberless pilgrims, were destroyed, and dedicated 


to the Delphic divhiity. The Phocaeans had no slaves, and dwelt in twenty 
or thirty town and country republics, which were independent within their 
own boundaries, but whose appointed deputies met to deliberate together over 
matters of general concern. 

Doris, a small, rugged, mountainous land, the native country of the 
Dorians, with four unimportant towns. 

Locris. There were three states of this name : (i) the Epizephyrian Locri, 
in the vicinity of Thermopylae ; (2) the Opus Locri, with the town of Opus, by 
the Euripos ; (3) the Ozolian Locri, on the Crissaean Bay, or Bay of Corinth, with 
the harbour town of Naupactus (now Lepanto). In peaceful isolation, the 
small Locrian population preserved their bravery, hospitality, and simplicity 
of manners; they were principally shepherds, agriculturists, and citizens 
of small towns ; and were so ruled by honourable families, that the common 
people willingly obeyed the commands of their chieftains. Neither slaves 
nor bondsmen had these yeomen, who cultivated without envy or con- 
tention the inheritance of their fathers, and as colonists, carried away 
betimes, into foreign countries, the energy which might have led to quarrels 

at home. 

yEtolia, a rugged, wooded, mountainous country, watered by the Achelous, 
inhabited by a wild, warlike people, of mingled descent, who, besides much 
hunting and cattle rearing, carried on a little agricultural industry in the 
fruitful plains on the southern coast, but were chiefly occupied in feuds 
by land and sea, and roamed abroad as hardy mercenaries and formidable 
freebooters. The capital of the nation, which was divided into several town 
districts, united into one confederacy, was the impregnable town of Thermon, 
situated on a mountain plain, and richly adorned with pillared halls, temples, 
paintings and statues. 

Acaruania, south of the Ambracian Gulf, on the shores of which stood 
Argos Amphilochian, with the promontory of Actium, celebrated for the 
victory of Augustus (B.C. 31), and near which Nicopolis was afterwards 
founded, with the town of Leucas, the strong confederate town Stratus, and 
a number of unwalled towns or villages. The ^tolians, Acarnanians, and 
Epirots had only slight connection with the kingdom of Hellas. They 
obeyed either hereditary princes, or elders and chiefs chosen by the people. 
The vendetta, or hereditary revenge ; rule by the strong hand, and the right of 
private war, showing themselves in the universal wearing of weapons ; village 
and market-town life in contradistinction to the life of cities ; hunting, and 
an inclination to cattle rearing on the one side, with a repugnance against 
agriculture and commerce on the other ; simple, rough manners, accompanied 
by steadiness, — these and similar traits reminded men of the old heroic time, 
when for the rest of Hellas that time had long departed. 

Across the little country of Megaris, with the town of Megara near the 
coast, is the isthmus — washed by the Corinthian and Saronic gulfs — which 
unites Hellas with the separate territory that extends almost like an island in 
the south. 

HL The Peloponnesus (now called the Morea).' — This peninsula, called the 
" castle of Hellas," and surrounded on all sides by the sea, is an entirely 
mountainous country. In the centre rises the wild tableland of Arcadia, shut 
in all round by high mountain ranges, which branch out towards the east 
and into the three southern necks of land, among which the Taygetos, run- 
ning into the headland Taenaron, and dividing rugged Laconia from fruitful 
Messenia, stands the highest. Among the mountain heights of Arcadia rise 




the most important rivers of the country, the Alpheius flowing in a westerly, 
and the Pamisos and " fair-flowini^" Eurotas, in a southern direction. The 
mountainous country of Arcadia, famed for its natural beauty, with its lofty 
mountains, alternating with verdant pastures for grazing cattle, and with fertile 
valleys, forms the heart and centre of the country, around which are extended 
the other states. The inhabitants were a simple, warlike people, hardened by 
a wild herdsman's life, and, like the Swiss in later times, were accustomed to 
enlist in foreign military service for pay. Arcadia had, besides the old towns 
Mantineia (famous for battles, B.C. 418, 362, 267) and Tegea, which were long 
held in subjection by the Spartans, the town of Megalopolis, founded by 
the advice of Epaminondas, and some other less important places. The 
other Peloponnesian states were Achaia, on the Bay of Corinth, with Patra:, 


I. Golden Frontlet. 2. Silver V.ise. 3. Two-edged D.igger of Copper. 

4. Fine Vase of terra-cotta. 5. Vase with the picture of the Iliaii Minerva. 6. Gold Earring. 

7. Silver Goblet. 8. Great Silver Vase with Handle. g. Two Amber Goblets. 

10. Gold Drinking Cup. 11. Gold Buttons. 12. Gold Earring. 

yEgium, and Helice, remarkable for a magnificent temple of Poseidon, and in 
ancient times united in a league with nine other towns, having the temple of 
Zeus at .^gium as the centre. Besides these twelve towns, the commercial 
town of Sicyon, the original seat of Hellenic art, and the wealthy and 
magnificent Corinth, famous for its trade, industry, and artistic skill, as 
shown in casting metals and in its pottery, near two bays, and with the strong 
citadel of Acrocorinth in its vicinity, also belonged to this Achaian league, 
which was newly organized about the middle of the third century. 

To the south-west lay the small republic of Phliasia, with the town of 
Phlius. Shut off from the rest of the Hellenic world, and caring only for the 



interests of their own narrow home, the Achaean town confederacy, which had 
obtained great wealth by trade, agriculture, and industry, abstained from taking 
any share in the contentions of the other parts of Greece. 

Argolis, a rocky country abounding in bays, with the chief town Argos, 
whose citadel, Larissa, " mountain fortress," dates apparently from the mythic 
period of the Pelasgi, with the very ancient royal seats of the warlike king 
Agamemnon, — Mycenae and Tiryns, — in the neighbourhood of which are 
the remains of the gigantic constructions, " the cyclopean walls," and the 
" lion's gate," and many other places remarkable either for their historical 
and mythical traditions, or as trading towns and seaports ; such as Nemea, 
associated with the Nemean games ; Lerna, remembered through the serpent 


of Lerna ; Epidaurus, Troezene, Hermione, Nauplia, the island of Neptune ; 
Calauria, with right of sanctuary, where Demosthenes poisoned himself 

Laconia, the most southerly, a wild, mountainous district, stretching out in 
two tongues of land, with capes Taenaron and Malea, and a few fertile plains 
in the valley of the Eurotas. The most important towais — besides the hilly, 
circular-built capital, Sparta, or Lacedjemon, which at the time of its pros- 
perity numbered about 60,000 inhabitants, of whom 8,000 or 9,000 were Do- 
rian citizens — were AmycLx, the ancient town of the Tyndarides, celebrated 
for its singular worship of Apollo; Sellasia, where a battle was fought in 222 ; 
Helus, from which the Helots take their name ; and the seaport, Gythion, 
on the Laconian Bay. Round the country of Kynuria, in the north, the 
Spartans carried on long wars with Argos. 

Messenia, a fruitful, but thinly populated country, with the ancient 



mountain stronc^hold Itliomc, which at a later period served as a fortress for 
tlie capital, Messenc, that had been established by the advice of Epaminondas, 
with the seaport of Pylos, Navarino, opposite the barren island of Sphacteria, 
with the Dorian town Stenyklaros. Intersected by beautiful wooded moun- 
tains, the fruitful plains and slopes afforded abundance of corn and of the 
splendid fruits of the south, and the grassy peaks and mountain glades offered 
magnificent pasture for numberless herds of cows and sheep. 

Elis, a fruitful, rich, highly cultivated land, that enjoyed a religiously 
guaranteed peace, and therefore remained for centuries exempt from all wars. 
More important than the chief town Elis, and Pisa, the ancient seat of royalty, 
were the buildings and the sacred grove Altis, on the Alpheios, in the plains of 
Olympia, where the celebrated Olympic games were held every four years, 
and the splendid temple of Zeus stood, supported by Dorian columns, with 
the majestic statue of the sacred king, carved by Phidias in gold and ivory, 
and regarded as a masterpiece of plastic art. Besides the temple, and the 
colossal statue representing Zeus seated, Olympia was remarkable for a 
number of other worlds of art and monuments, and buildings erected for the 
festival of the games. The district south of Olympia bears the name of 
Triphylia, with Nestor's " sandy " Pylos. 

Greece has a very great extent of coast, a fine climate, and an advantageous 
soil. The sea penetrates far into all the coasts, divides them in the most 
various and manifold ways, forms numerous bays, and within them creeks and 
harbours. A fresh, and at the same time, mild atmosphere preserved the 
country of Hellas equally from the enervation of the south and the roughness 
of the northern Barbarians ; a clear and limpid sky drew the soul upward to 
a serene and freer mood ; and while the favourable climate of the inland 
country promoted the growth of every product of which the nature of the 
soil admitted, the sea, which washes such an unusually large part of its 
territory, tempted the coast population to distant enterprises, and afforded 
access to convenient markets, both for the natural products of the land and 
for the works created by artistic industry and skill. 




The Greek Islands. 

The isles of Greece ! The isles of Greece ! 
Where burning Sappho loved and sung ! 
Where grew the arts of war and peace ; 
Whence Delos rose and Phoebus sprung. 


HE most important islands on the western or Ionian sea, 
are : Corcyra, now Corfu, believed to be the island of the 
Phacaces^ spoken of by Homer, the wealthy and luxurious 
maritime population, and with the artistically decorated 
royal residence of king Alcinous, subsequently a colony of 
Corinth ; Leucadia, with the temple of Apollo on the 
white wall of rock on the shore ; " stony " Ithaca, the 
residence of Ulysses ; Kephalonia, and Zakynthos, the 
mother-town of the Spanish Saguntum. In the southern 
sea, lies the nearly circular, mountainous island of Kythera, an ancient colony 
of the Phoenicians, where the celebrated worship of Aphrodite, the Phoenician 
Ashera-Astarte, appears to have originated ; the temple of Aphrodite stood 
on the highest point of the island, which abounded in oil, wine, honey, and 
other products ; Crete or Candia, intersected by a mountain range, at one 
time volcanic, with Mount Ida, and remarkable for its fertility, early civiliza- 
tion, and good code of laws given by Minos, but also feared as the haunt of 
warlike pirates ; its population included Canaanites or Phoenicians, as well as 



Homer was of opinion that the island very possibly contained a hundred 
towns, but in later times Cydonia, Gortyna, and Cnossus, with its labyrinth, 
were the best known. Cyprus, an island abounding in wine, oil, brass, and 
wood, with a Syrian and Phoenician population, celebrated for the impure 
worship of Aphrodite (Ashera), who had remarkable temples built to her 
honour in different places, particularly at Paphos on Mount Olympus, and in 
the town of Salamis. After the expedition of the Heraclid^i^, Dorians 
established themselves on the island, and made the peculiarities of their race 
predominant there. Rhodes, the island of roses, famed for its early civiliza- 
tion and especially for its metal founding ; originally possessing an Oriental 
population, it subsequently became a Dorian colony, flourishing in commerce, 
wealth, and culture, and remarkable for its good government and laws. The 


school of orator>^ founded by yEschines, was of great importance. The 
brass statue of Helios, "the Colossus of Rhodes," with its far-reaching light, 
stood across the harbour of the chief town. The island of Rhodes enjo>-ed 
its second period of prosperity in the Macedonian times. 

The greatest number of both large and small islands are on the cast, in the 
^gean Sea, whose name Archipelago has consequently been used generally 
to designate an island-studded sea. On account of their natural similarity to 
the continent, these islands may be regarded " as severed portions^, torn oft 
from the shores of the continent by the powers of Vulcan or Neptune. 
Opposite the eastern shores of Hellas, and only separated b>- the narrow- 
straits of Euripus, lies the long, mountainous, but highly fruitful island of 
Euboea (now Negroponte), with the seaport and commercial towns lu'ctria 
and Chalcis ; the latter has been united since 410 with Bctotia by a remark- 
able bridge ; also Carystus, in the south, with its marble quarries, and Orcus, 


originally Histiaea, in the north. East of Eubcea lies the rocky island of 
Scyros, belonging to the Athenians ; and farther off to the north-east the 
volcanic island of Lemnos, famed for its Vulcan worship and its metal-forging. 
North of Lemnos are Thasos, Imbros, and Samothrace, the two latter re- 
markable as the seat of the ancient religious mysteries attending the worship 
of the Cabeiri. The group lying nearest to the east coast of the Peloponnesus, 
but still belonging to the European continent, is the cluster of islands bearing 
the name of Cyclades, or " circle islands," because they encircle the sacred 
sun-island Delos. In Delos, the sacred birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, 
stood a richly-decorated sanctuary of the god of light, with a beautiful altar, . 
where every five years festive games were held, which were attended by 
visitors from all the Greek states. Among the others, Paros (marble), 
Andros, Ceos, the volcanic island of Melos, and Naxos, abounding in vine- 
yards, are the most important ; eastwards we find the scattered or Sporadic 
islands, belonging to the Asiatic continent, and among them Thera, which 
was Lacedaemonian. 

The most important islands, both on account of their size and fertility, as 
well as their civilization and the wealth of their inhabitants, are situated on i 
the coast of Asia Minor : Tenedos, with its vineyards ; luxurious Lesbos, the 
country of Alcceus and Sappho, with its towns Mitylene and Methymna, 
famous for their civilization ; Chios, abounding in vines, figs, and other pro- 
ducts, and flourishing through' trade and commerce ; Sam.os, in the so-called 
Icarian Sea, a town and island with prosperous trade and industry, containing 
a magnificent temple to Hera, and the birthplace of the philosopher Pytha- 
goras ; Cos, the native place of the painter Apelles and the physician Hippo- 
crates, celebrated for its purple stuffs ; and lastly the small, barren, rocky 
island of Patmos, used by the Romans as a place of banishment, regarded in 
Christian tradition as the sojourning place of John, the apostle or presbyter, 
the author of the Apocalypse. 

The Religion of the Greeks. 

Like the Aryans on the Indus and in Bactria, the ancient inhabitants of 
Greece offered their prayers to the heavenly powers, the " nameless gods," 
who refresh the thirsty land with welcome rain, and shed the animating light 
of the sun over the natural world and the nourishing earth. But the sea had 
far greater influence on the civilized life of the Greek than on the isolated 
existence of the Indian and Iranian ; thus, at an early period the god of the 
watery element was received into the religious system of the Greeks, appear- 
ing equal to the other powers in dignity and greatness ; and a divine power 
ruling darkly in the bosom of the earth, receiving the seed-corn to give it back 
with a thousand-fold blessing, shared with the mother earth the homage of 
mortal men. 

These natural forces — which were regarded in the myths as the powers of 
heaven, such as Zeus and Hera, Phoebus-Apollo and Artemis, Pallas- 
Athene ; of the earth, Demeter ; of the sea, Neptune ; and of the lower regions 
or shades, Aidoneus, and then again divided into countless separate beings — 
held the first place in Greek religion ; in which subsequently a period of the 
creative forces of nature (the theogonic system), and of the powers that govern 
the Avbrld, over and under the earth (Olympic and chthonic gods), were 
separated from each other. 



According to the theogonic theory, which in course of time sought to bring 
he varied world of divinities by ingenious legends and genealogies into 
ystematic order, and into connection with the appearances of the real world, 
here first existed Chaos, or vast formless space, containing within itself the 
•-reative matter, — the gloomy void, Tartaros, and the generative force, Eros. 
The first offspring of Chaos were the old mist, Erebos, and the old dark- 
less, Night, in which the creative power of love, Eros, first displayed itself; 
vhereupon these two brought forth the unbroken and broken light, the light 
)f the pure ether, and the daylight, Hemera. The creative matter contained in 
I^haos formed itself into the " broad-bosomed " earth, which, as the universal 
neither and nourisher, brings every living thing into existence, and receives 
everything back again into her dark bosom. She first shows her creative 
Dower by raising above her the vaulted heaven (Uranos), and by spreading 
Deneath her the swelling ocean (Pontos) ; then she brings forth beings of 
superhuman strength and power. Titans and giants, who first hold sway, until 
1 more spiritual race, grouped around Zeus, the king of heaven, conquer all 
:he powerful, heaven-storming forces of nature, bury them in the ab}-ss of 
sarth, and establish the present order of the universe. After the wild forces 
Df nature and the power of the elements have been tamed through mighty 
convulsions of the earth, which are represented in poetry and tradition as 
fearful combats of the gods, Zeus is enthroned as king of the gods, with the 
celestial world of divinities, on the luminous heights of "many-peaked" 


Olympus ; while Pluto rules over the dark kingdom of the lower regions *j 
(Hades, Tartaros) with the gods of earth ; and Poseidon, or Neptune, with 
his powerful trident, governs the waves of the ocean and the multitude of sea; 
and river gods. 

And in order that these three kingdoms, — which in the life of nature were 
so often seen in intimate relation acting upon one another, — might be puti y, 
into harmonious communion in the mythological acceptation also, poetry and*» 
speculation represented the rulers of these kingdoms as the nearest relatives, 
as descendants of a common father and mother, and thus sought to introducel 
the idea of the ordering and the reciprocal action of the world and the forces 
of nature, even in the kingdom of mythology. Thus, in time, the universe 
appeared to the Greek as a region teeming with life and with souls — a regior 
where, beside and beyond the appearances of outward creation, an innumer-j 
able throng of gods and spirits passed an endless existence in free and mani- 
fold activity, resembling mankind in form and in mind, in emotions and 
passions, but more perfect and mighty, — sometimes favourably inclined 
towards the inhabitants of earth, whose ancestors and chieftains of nations 
derived their descent from them, and sometimes full of anger and jealous} 
against them. 

From Zeus, the king of heaven, " the father of gods and men," Apollo, the 
god of light, and Pallas Athene, the goddess of heavenly brightness, to the 
half animal gods of the woods and flocks, Satyrs and Silenuses, the wanton 
and sensual companions of Dionysios and Pan, there exists an endless chain 
of divinities of most varied form and grade, who, sometimes, as the spirits of 
light and air, direct and govern physical life, pouring the sun-warmth and[ 
fertilizing dew of heaven on the land, and sometimes working mysteriously in 
the bosom of the earth, govern the life of nature in its regular course, and as 
the obscure, relentless powers of fate, order and appoint the destinies of man- 
kind according to the eternal laws of the universe ; now as wood or mountain 
•nymphs (Dryads, Oreades) dwelling in the high-topped pines and oaks, or| 
roving in woods and mountains, cool grottoes, or rocky hollows, or again (as 
Nereides, Naiades) making their home on the billowy ocean, in rippling springs,! 
brooks, and streams. Others rule in towns and dwellings as the guardianl 
spirits of the hearth and of family life, of races and individuals, or give 
fulfilment to the actions and endeavours of men (Tyche), and watch that 
divine justice is not violated (Nemesis) ; others surround the superior gods, 
as allegorical ideal beings or ministering attendants, such as Nike, the winged 
goddess of victory, Hebe, the goddess of blooming youth, and others. The 
sun, moon, and also certain shining stars (Orion, Sirius, the Pleiades, the 
Dioscuri, and others) were included as personal beings of light within the 
sphere of worship, and were associated in connection with the changing course 
of nature, and the necessary occupations of mankind, such as navigation, 
hunting, and agriculture ; yet the Semitic worship of the stars, with its astro 
logical belief in marvels, never took root in the land of Hellas. 

In order to establish the human race in a right relationship with the world 
of gods, the gulf between the mortal sons of earth and the eternal powers 
was bridged over by a race of heroes, represented in poetic legends as the 
sons of the gods, and including among them the ancestors of races and noble 
families, the founders of towns, and the earliest rulers of the country. In 
this world of gods, endowed with so much freedom and beauty, and portrayed 
in the most perfect productions of Greek art and poetry, man was regarded 
in various relationships. According to the theories gradually built up in 





the time of hi 
a spiritual being 


the Greek and Roman world, man is attended, from 

birth throughout his whole life, by a demon or genius, 

standing by his side, who influences his resolves and actions, without howevei 

controlling the freedom of his will. The domestic hearth is the seat of the 

sacred gods of home and the family, who preserve human habitations from 

harm ; and every important event of life takes place under the guardianship 

of a particular divinity. 

By means of oracles and prophecies, the heavenly powers permit thd 
dweller on earth a glance into futurity, or determine his resolutions and action* 
by higher judgments and suggestions. In opposition to the Christian con-l 
ception of life, in which earthly existence is only regarded as a period ol 
probation and transition to a higher state, the Greeks, who regarded life in 
a cheerful aspect, invested earthly existence with every joy, and represented! S 
the shadow life of the lower world as a sorrowful continuation of the present 
one. Yet there are intimations in their poetry and myths that they believed 
in retribution and an eternal life, in union of the dead and the living, and of 
this world with the world beyond. The departed are conducted by Hermes, 
the guide of death, before the three judges of the lower regions (Minos, 
Rhadamanthus, and .^acus), and according to their verdict are despatche 
either into the habitations of the just, Elysium, the happy islands, or to th 
place of condemnation, Tartaros. Different kinds of funereal sacrifices ar 
offered up at graves, to the manes, souls or shades of the dead, by th 
survivors. For shadow-like, the souls descend into Hades, " like clouds an 
wandering beams of life ; " if, however, they drink blood, consciousness and 
recollection of their earlier existence are awakened within them as after 
a long dream. Great offenders, like Tantalos, Tityos, and Sisyphos, are 
punished with a tormenting continuance of those evil propensities and pas- 
sions to which they had immoderately, during life, given themselves up. 
To the multitude of Greek tribes and nationalities, who each possessed their 
own national divinities, sometimes resembling, sometimes differing from, each 
other, is to be attributed the great number of divine beings in the Greek 
mythology, with their varied attributes and extensive nomenclature. , 







The Pelasgi. — The Mythical Heroic Age of the Hellenes. — The 
Expedition of the Argonauts. — The Myth of Perseus. — ^The 
Trojan War. — Wanderings of the Dorians. — The Greek 
Colonies in Asia Minor. — On the Hellespont. — In Tpirace 
AND Macedonia. — In Sicily, Africa, Spain and Gallia. — The 
Epic Poetry of the Greeks. — Homer, Hesiod, etc. 


^HP^ most ancient inhabitants of Greece were those 
called Pelasgi, who were probably spread over the 
whole country, though Thessaly and Arcadia only are 
known as their authenticated dwelling-places. Traces 
of Pelasgic population are to be found also in the 
islands of the yEgean Sea, as well as in Italy and Asia 
Minor. They were a peaceful, agricultural people, 
holding a religious faith founded on the worship of 
nature, wherein the chthonic gods, particularly Demeter, 
or mother-earth ; Dionysios, the creator of wine ; Zeus, 
giver of oracles, the god of nature, with his wife Dione, 
in the shady forest sanctuary at Dodona ; and the 
mysterious Cabeiri, who were the active, fertilizing 
powers working in the interior of nature, all received 
divine veneration, though they had neither image nor bodily form. 

Evidences of the civilization of the Pelasgi are seen in the ruins of 
ancient towns and royal citadels, and the traces and remains of water-works, 
dams, and canals, as well as in the indestructible Cyclopean walls, built 
up of rough masses of stone, or square blocks without mortar, in the Pelo- 
ponnesus, and other parts. Similar monuments are, the Lion's Gate at 
Mycenae, the ruins of Tiryns and Orchomenos. It has been inferred, from 
traces of isolated and uncertain evidence, that social distinctions of the 
nature of caste existed among the Pelasgi, though not accompanied by rigid 
separation as with the Orientals. This system included a powerful priesthood. 


venerated for its hereditary noble families, who were the guardians of the 
country, and a vassal population of taxed peasants, "The arms of these 
half-free people were employed in bond service at their master's command, 
in building up the cunningly united stones, excavating mountains, opening 
passages and tunnels, and confining the floods." Their calculation and 
division of the year, as well as their knowledge of the starry heavens, 
depended chiefly on primitive tradition. 

The Pierian Thracians are regarded as a kindred race of the Pelasgi ; they 
originally settled at Olympus, and were the fathers of Greek poetry, and the 
founders of the worship of the Muses, which has been associated with their 
later settlements on Helicon and Parnassus. The mythical ancestral hero of 
the tribe was Orpheus, who, according to sacred myths of the Hellenes, en 
thralled men and tamed animals with the tones of his voice and lyre, and even 
made such an impression on the hard, stern, unchanging gods of the lower 
regions, that they permitted him to take back his dead wife, Eurydice, from 
the kingdom of the shades to the upper world ; associated with him also 
appears Linos, the son of Apollo, the author of the sorrowful song of lamen- 
tation, and also the singer and priest, Eumolpus, (" fine singer ") who is said 
to have established the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were closely connected 
with the Pelasgian worship of nature, and whose successors, the noble Attic 
race of Eumolpidae, possessed the management of this secret service as their 
hereditary prerogative, and also belonged to the Pierian Thracians. These 
priestly seers and poets of the mythical period devoted their poetic inspira- 
tions chiefly to the glorification of religion and the service of the gods, and 
bewailed in sorrowful laments the vanishing of youth and the perishing of 
natural life by the summer's heat or winter's cold. In short disconnected 
songs or hymns they sang the glory of God and nature, " whose works 
met their astonished eyes both in heaven and on earth," they exhorted every 
mortal to contentment, moderation, and to expiation for offences against the 
sanctity of life, and filled his breast with sentiments of godly fear, justice, 
and philanthropy. 

Oriental Colonization. — The theory that the earliest Greek culture origin- 
ated in the East, and that colonists from Egypt, Phoenicia, and Asia Minor 
imparted the germs of civilization to the barbarous inhabitants of Greece, has 
been powerfully shaken in recent times ; and the originality and independent 
power of growth and self-development possessed by the Greeks have been 
zealously upheld and defended. But, however little the traditions of the 
Egyptian Cecrops, to whom was ascribed the founding of the citadel (Cecropia) 
at Athens ; of the Phoenician Cadmus, who is said to have laid the founda- 
tions of the town of Thebes, and to have introduced alphabetic writing into 
Greece as well as the art of casting metal ; of the Egyptian settlement of the 
Danaos and the Danaides in Argolis ; and the adventures of the Phrygian 
Pelops, from whom the name.of the peninsula Peloponnesus is derived, can bear 
the test of historical criticism, yet the evidence of a union and early intercourse 
between Greece and Eastern countries, and of a marked influence of Oriental 
notions on the religious system and political arrangements of the Greeks 
appearing therein, cannot be denied. The Pelasgians' worship of nature, the 
hereditary separation of ranks in Attica into four phylae, the ruins of ancient 
buildings, with other similar tokens, confirm the statements of ancient writers 
as to a relationship between the East and ancient Greece, and of a simi- 
larity of civilization among the Oriental and the Pelasgic peoples. It is 
possible that in the old days, on their immigration into Europe from Asia, 








a Si 


the Pelasgi brought with them the germ of this civih'zation, and developed 
it in the direction of nature. The influence of the East on the Pelasgic period 
cannot be combated on the ground that the later development, religious specu- 
lations, and artistic proclivities of the Greeks present no points of simi- 
larity with those of Eastern nations, as the Hellenes, when they conquered 
Greece, probably supplanted, transformed, or ennobled the Pelasgic system ; 
and in this transformation and improvement the higher nature and larger 
mental powers of the Hellenes are manifested. Therefore, though we are 
not warranted in assuming such an amount of originality for the Greek nation 
as would have rendered it entirely independent of foreign influences, it is 
certain, on the other hand, that the Greeks perfected everything received from 
without, and impressed on it the stamp of an intelligence to which even the 
most skilful of the barbarous nations of antiquity could never approach. 

The Mythical Heroic Age of the Hellenes. 

Hellenic Races. Hercules and Theseus. — The place of the primitive Pelasgi 
was at a later period filled by the warlike Hellenes, with their chivalrous 
heroism. Though nothing certain is known of their origin or of their arri- 
val in Greece, it has been conjectured by many that they did not constitute 
a separate nation, but comprised the warlike part of the Pelasgi themselves, 
and that the Hellenic warrior class in fact overcame the Pelasgic priest- 
government, and subjugated the peaceful people. At all events the Pelasgi 
and Hellenes soon amalgamated into one nation. " This blending took place 
the more easily, as they were both kindred branches of the same parent tree, 
belonging to the same ancient Aryan nation, and speaking languages 
which were little more than different dialects of the same tongue." The 
Hellenic worship of the cheerful Zeus and the jovial Olympic divinities now 
thrust aside the Pelasgic nature-worship. 

The Hellenes (according to Homer, Ach^eans) were divided into four tribes : 
Dorians and Achaeans in the Peloponnesus ; lonians in Attica, the islands etc. ; 
yEolians in Boeotia and elsewhere. The earliest history is associated with 
separate heroes, warlike families, or princes of tribes who promoted the 
civilization of the country by combating hostile robbers, slaying wild animals 
and monsters, and establishing towns and commonwealths, but were also in^ 
spired by a love of adventure and a desire for the acquisition of great posses- 
sions. We find in this mythical heroic period, — besides the knightly virtues, 
courage, and the heroic soul, which every powerful and warlike nation imputes 
to its ancestors, — the first germs of civilization and humanity ; for the punish^ 
ing of rebellious and ungodly criminals, at a time when robbery was considered 
allowable and even honourable, and a stranger was universally regarded as an 
outlaw, is commended as a special merit of the heroes, as well as their pious 
awe of the gods, the avengers of every wrong, and their regard for the justice 
that rules for ever. In the heroes, who had intercourse with the gods, and were 
regarded as more perfect men, standing midway between the human race and 
the gods, who were represented as exhibiting human passions and feelings 
combined with heavenly powers, we find all the qualities of a poAverful and 
aspiring people, in their primitive natural condition, undevek ped and unre- 
fined ; and in the descriptions of the journeyings, adventures, eind battles of 
these heroes, history, tradition, and poetry are interwoven in an nitxtricable 
mythical whole. 

Among the ancient myths, the best known are the labours of Hercules, the 
representative of Greek national heroism, and the exploits of Theseus the 



Athenian, who through the union of twelve separate districts into a political 
commonwealth, by the division of the nation into three classes, — Eupatridae, 
Geomori, and Dcmiurgi, or nobles, agriculturists, and traders, — and the estab- 
lishment of the national festival of Panathenae, is said to have been the founder 
of Athens and its form of government and the administrator of Attica ; of 
whom it is related, that through the slaying of the man-eating Minotaurus, in 
the labyrinth made by the ingenious Dsedalos in Crete, he freed his native town 
from a shameful tribute to this powerful island — an island, which even in the- 
earliest antiquity, was famed not less for its maritime power and daring piratical 
expeditions than for its excellent code of laws, ascribed to the island king Minos. 

The Attack of the Seven on Thebes (1231 B.C.). — In process of time some of 
the heroes began to unite in common undertakings. One of these enter- 
prises was the war which has been several times made the subject of Greek 
poetry, of " the Seven against Thebes," which was governed by the fate-op- 
pressed race of Laios and CEdipus. The seven Argive heroes whom Polynices, 
son of Qidipus, who had been banished by his brother Eteocles, led against his 
native town, perished, with the exception of Adrastos ; and the hostile brothers 
killed each other in the combat. According to mythical tradition, Creon, 
now master of Thebes, forbad the burial of Polynices, because he had entered 
the land as an enemy. But the faithful sister of Polynices, Antigone, was not 
to be restrained by the capricious and tyrannical command of a king, the 
expectation of her approaching nuptials, or the fear of death, from fulfilling 
this last duty towards her brother. She obeyed the divine command, rather 
than the decrees of men. " For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do 
by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law 
unto themselves." After this the sons of the seven heroes avenged the deaths 
of their fathers on the Thcbans in the wars of the Epigoni, about 1220 
B.C. In the poetic, tragically coloured traditions of the ruling family of 
Thebes, reminiscences of mighty battles between the ancient Thebans, of 
Pelasgi-Phoenician origin, and the emigrated Hellenic tribes, of /Eolian- 
Achsean descent, may probably be preserved. 

Expeditum of the Argonauts (1250 B.C.). — A greater, and according to time, 
a somewhat earlier universal undertaking Avas the expedition of the Argo- 
nauts, made famous in Greek traditions and poetry, undertaken by the Thes- 
.'•alian Jason of Colchos, with the most renowned heroes of his time, Hercules, 
Theseus, Castor and Pollux, Lacedaemonians, Peleus, the father of Achilles from 
Thessaly, Orpheus the Thracian singer, and others, in the ship A rgo, to the 
distant sunny country of yEa, in order to obtain the golden fleece, which 
Phryxus, the 'son of a king of Thessaly, after escaping from home with his 
sister Helle, is said to have hung up in the grove of Ares in that land rich in 
gold and in marvels, and which, according to fable, was guarded by a fiery 
dragon that never slumbered. Distant voyages, full of marvels and horrors, 
Avere attractive subjects for the Greeks. Nothing excited their curiosity and 
imagination so much as accounts of heroes who, through the decrees of the 
gods, were led to the extreme ends of the earth. On account of their slight 
knowledge of the sea in ancient times, such a voyage appeared to them a 
great and most daring undertaking. As in the story of Theseus, so also in 
the Argonauts' voyage, love is intermingled with the ancient Greek chivalry. 
Jason, for instance, accomplishes the undertaking with the help of Medea 
the daughter of the king of the place, the mistress of supernatural magic arts, 
and then flies with her from the hostile land to his home. The marvellous 
return voyage from the distant East, and the river Phasis, through Libya, and 



the western region through the "Okeanos" and the mysterious Eridanos, 
and the manifold dangers and adventures which the Argonauts had to 
encounter in these unknown places, form the substance of an heroic myth 
which is richly embellished with the poetry and imagination of the Greeks. 
Medea became Jason's wife ; but being afterwards set aside in favour of the 
daughter of the king of Corinth, she is said to have poisoned the bride and 
put her own children to death. 

There can be no question of anything like chronology in speaking of the 
lives of the heroes; but the myth of Perseus is considered as the most ancient. 
Perseus was son of Danae, a daughter of the King Acrisios of Argos. He 
distinguished himself by various heroic deeds, the most important being 

il.iUiU Oi J.V3Li.\ Willi MLDLA A.\U I [IL GOl.l-il..\ I LLLCK. 

an expedition against the Gorgon Medusa, whom he slew. The building of 
the city Mycenae, to which place he transferred the royal residence of Argos, 
is also ascribed to him. 

The story of Perseus is as follows : — An oracle had foretold to Acrisios, 
that a son of his daughter Danae would deprive him of life. Accordingly 
Acrisios shut up his daughter in a strong tower, the door of which was strictly 
closed. But the God Zeus, who was in love with Danae, took the form of 
golden rain, which made its way through the tiles of the roof, and thus made 
his way to Danac's presence. Perseus was their son. This myth has been 
interpreted as meaning a bribing of the guards by means of money, to open 
the door of the prison. 

Medusa was one of the three sisters known by the name of Gorgons, and 



were held in horror as terrific and cruel female beings. Two of them, Stheno 
and Euryale, were supposed to be immortal. Medusa, the third of the Gor- 
gons, had serpents instead of hair on her head ; and every one who looked 
upon her was turned into stone. But the god-like hero Perseus conquered 
Medusa, and cut off her horrible head, which he placed in his shield to strike 
terror into his enemies. From the blood that poured from the corpse of 
Medusa arose the two god-like horses, Chrysaor and Pegasus. 

The myth of Herakles or Hercules has been more adorned by the fancy 
and imagination of the poets than any other. The hero is represented as the 


son of Zeus and Alcmena. Here (Juno), the wife of Zeus, became the inveterate i 
enemy of Hercules, whose amazing strength was shown already in the cradle 
by his strangling two serpents sent by the angry goddess to devour him. 
Having in a fit of mad rage killed the children born to him by his wife 
Megara, the daughter of a king of Thebes, he was ordered by the Oracle at 
Delphi, where he sought counsel to cleanse himself from the crime, to place 
himself at the disposal of Eur>^stheus, king of Argos, and to obey the com-i 
mands of that monarch in all things. P'or Eurystheus accordingly he under- 1 
took the twelve famous labours with which his name is always associated. 




The Trojan War, 1194-1184, b.c. 


HE most famous event of the Greek heroic 
times, and one typical of a more noble and 
advanced civilization, is the Trojan war, which 
has been so frequently celebrated in historical 
traditions, poetry, and art. In Ilium, or Troy, 
on the north-west coast of Asia Minor, king 
Priam reigned over a prosperous, civilized peo- 
ple, who applied themselves more to agricul- 
ture and social industry than to the arts of 
war and to martial exercises. His son Paris 
(or Alexander) carried off the beautiful Helen, 
the wife of the Lacedaemonian king Menelaus, 
who had hospitably received him in his 
gorgeous royal residence. The injured hus- 
band then summoned the Greek princes for 
an expedition of vengeance, which was im- 
mediately undertaken under the leadership of 
Agamemnon of Mycenae, the brother of Mene- 
laus, and with the assistance of the most famous 
heroes of Greece. Achilles, and his friend Patroclus, from Thessaly; the cunning, 
sly Ulysses, from the island of Ithaca ; Diomedes, from Argos ; Ajax, from 
Salamis, the powerful hero with the broad shield ; grey-headed Nestor, 
from Pylos ; Idomeneus, from Crete ; the grandson of Minos, and others, 





are the most celebrated names among the warriors. From Aulis, — where, 
according to later traditions, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia 
to Artemis, — a large fleet, bearing an army of nearly a hundred thousand 


warriors, set sail for the Asiatic coast, but found such brave opponents in the 
Trojans, particularly in Priam's. son Hector, and the Trojan prince ^neas, 
that only after a ten years' war, in which the gods themselves took part, 
was the town captured and destroyed through the stratagem of Ulysses, by 
means of a wooden horse, filled with armed warriors. For according to 
an inevitable decree of Fate, Ilium had been doomed to destruction. Priam 
and most of the Trojans fell in the battle or during the destruction of 
the town ; the remainder were condemned to a sorrowful slavery. Only a 
few scattered bands either emigrated, like ^neas, towards the West, or 
maintained themselves for a few generations in the distant valleys of the Ida 

The victors, however, also experienced many calamities. Achilles, Patro- 
clus, and others, found in Ilium an early grave ; Agamemnon, after a weari- 
some journey home, was put to death by his faithless wife, Clytemnestra ; 
and Ulysses, driven by storms, wandered for ten years round inhospitable 
shores, islands, and seas, before he was permitted once more to behold his 
faithful wife Penelope and his son Telemachos, and to free his house from 
the presumptuous wooers who, during his absence, had sued for the hand of 
his wife, wasted his goods, and incited his servants and maids to disloyalty. 

The Wanderings of the Dorians. 

Soon after the conclusion of the great war against Troy, there arose 
great disturbances and revolutions in Greece. Separate Hellenic tribes 
drove out the old inhabitants from their former possessions ; the latter in 
their turn ousted other tribes, until at last, the weaker part of the popula- 
tion, — or rather those of them who did not prefer submissitDn and bondage 
under the warlike new-comers,- resolved to emigrate, and accordingly 
established transmarine colonies. Thus, sixty years after the Trojan war, 
the Thesprotian Thessalians, a wild race of warlike mountaineers, occupied 
the plains and hilly country called after them on the Peneius and Pindus, and 
either brought the ancient population, which was divided into small common- 
wealths, into the condition of subjects and tributaries, or compelled them to fly 
southwards about the year 1 124, The latter course was chosen by the " active, 
clever " yEolians in the town of Arne. Incapable of servitude, and unable to 
bid defiance to the superior number of the invaders, they wandered south- 
wards, subdued, or drove from the country, the Pelasgian civilized tribes, 
Thebans, Minyae, and Thracians, rich in songs, and occupied the citadels 
and the country, which since that time received from them the name of 
Boeotia. The most important in result among these emigrations, however, 
was the expedition of the Dorians to the Peloponnesus. After long and 
various wanderings and adventures, the Dorians, who were hardy hunters, 
shepherds, and peasants, under hereditary dukes and judges, established 
themselves at the foot of the CEta, and founded a free peasant republic, which 
upheld the worship of Apollo at the sanctuary at Delphi, its central point 
of union. Oppressed by the Thessalians and Boeotians, they turned south- 
wards, and after long combats, under the leadership of the successors of 
Plercules (hence the return of the Heraclidje), conquered the Peloponnesian 
peninsula {1194). By this occurrence, the whole aspect of the country was 
changed, as in place of the former Achaean population, the powerful Dorian 
mountaineers now obtained the mastery. 

The central mountainous country of Arcadia alone retained its ancient 



Pelasgian population. The Ionian people of the northern coast country were 
driven out by the Achteans, who were flying from the Dorians, and compelled 
to emigrate into Asia Minor, while their conquerors took possession of the 
country, which has, therefore, since that time, borne the name of Achaia. 
The Dorians by degrees conquered Argolis, Laconia, Messenia, Sicyon, 
Corinth, and the country on the further side of the isthmus of Megaris, 
They even made an invasion of Attica, and threatened Athens ; but on 
account of the voluntary sacrifice of his life on the part of the Athenian king 
Codrus (1068), of the family of Pelidian Nestor, they were compelled to 
retreat. A sentence of the Delphic oracle of Apollo, had declared that victory 
would favour that side on which the king should fall. When the Dorians 
heard this, they strictly commanded that no man should do Codrus any 
injury. The latter, however, exchanged his princely robe for a shepherd's 
garb, crept unrecognised into the enemy's camp, involved himself in an 
: intentional dispute, and met the death w^hich he sought. The Dorians, 
despairing of victory, then withdrew from Athens, and contented themselves 
with Megara ; while the Athenians declared that no one was worthy to 
ascend the throne as the successor of the heroic king, and abolished the royal 
dignity in their town. 

The ancient population of the Peloponnesus had three different fortunes. 
The boldest and strongest emigrated, and, in course of time, in conjunction 
with their Attic allies, they established on the favourably situated west coast 
of Asia Minor (where the remains of Ionian population existed probably 
from the oldest times), and on the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, and others, 
the Ionian colonies, which, from the fertility of their soil, as well as their 
trade, navigation, and industry, soon attained to a degree of prosperity and 
civilization greater than that which the mother country could boast. Those 
who were left behind either submitted of their own accord to the Dorians 
(when they were made dependent and shut out from all participation in the 
government, though allowed to preserve their personal liberty and property — 
in Laconia they are called Perioeci, " dwellers around," or Lacedemonians, 
in opposition to the Dorian Spartans) or they were forced to submission 
with arms in their hands, when they were reduced to the condition of bonds- 
men, slaves, or Helots. 

But it was only in Lacedaemonia that this division of the people showed 
itself in its full strictness. In Corinth, Sicyon, Messena, and other 
places, the distinguished families of the old population were allowed equal 
rights with the Dorians, and admitted to a share in the government. 
Temenos, the oldest of the Heracleids, occupied Argos, the old seat of govern- 
ment ; and Cresphontes, is said to have obtained possession by .stratagem 
of the best part, namely, Messenia. Wild and unproductive Laconia was 
given up to the two youthful sons of Aristodemus, Procles, and Eurysthenes. 
A confederacy, having the sanctuary of the Carneian Apollo as its centre, 
united the fraternal Dorian community for mutual protection, and for the 
settlement of internal differences by " love and justice." The ancient method 
of division of the people into three phyLx, or tribes, and these into ten com- 
munities, was continued in the new settlements ; and with this system was com- 
bined a territorial division into provinces and districts. Discipline and order, 
industry and sobriety, courage and fear of the gods, were developed by the 
Dorian system at an early period ; and the people prospered so long as these 
virtues endured. Pride, and harshness towards foreign or conquered races, 
formed the dark side of the people's character, 


The Greek Colonies. 

r A love of wandering, and a great activity of disposition, in conjunction 
with external inducements, produced in the Hellenes a tendency to quit 
their homes and seek fresh spheres of life on foreign soil. They established 
colonies on all the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, 
and in such numbers, that in the year 600 these settlements amounted to two 
hundred and fifty. As the Hellenes united with their love of wandering the 
talent of asserting and preserving their nationality in a foreign country, the 
Greek population became the means of a wide diffusion of Greek language and 
culture. Now it was war and conquest, now dissension and internal strife, and 
now again over-population and poverty, — but at a later period, trade interests 
more than anything else, — 'which caused a certain number of the citizens in 
any Greek town to quit their homes with their wives and children, and estab- 
lish themselves on some favourably situated spot of foreign coast country. 
At their departure they took with them the sacred fire from the senate-house. 
The colonies stood in the condition of blood relationship to the mother cities ; 
they were free and independent, however, and had no other obligations to- 
wards these parent towns than those which the natural affection of a child 
imposes on the daughter towards the mother. These younger communities 
perpetuated among themselves the customs, laws, and religious obser- 
vances of the mother town, made no war against her except under the 
strongest necessity, and testified a childlike reverence towards her on solemn 
occasions ; but they were placed in no position of dependence, like the colo- 
nies of Rome or those of modern times. Only on extraordinary occasions did 
the mother town interfere in the internal concerns of her daughter, when the 
latter, through misfortune from without or from within, needed her help or 
her arbitrating authority. Many of the young towns surpassed the mother 
town in the quickness of their civilization, in industrial activity, and artistic 
skill ; but frequently they squandered and consumed their noble powers in 
civil wars, tribal disputes, and dissensions Avith their neighbours, or fell into a 
state of enervation and weakness from indulging in rash, ill-judged under- 
takings. The most important colonies were the following : — 

I. On the coast of Asia Minor. — The earliest settlers on this coast were 
the ^olians, from Boeotia, who founded settlements partly on the northern 
islands, Lesbos and others, and partly on the opposite continent, Mysia and 
Troas, with the renowned territory of Ilium, rich in story and in song. The 
number of the latter amounted to twelve, of which Cyme (Phriconis) was the 
most important. Whether they Avere united in a league, like the Ionian 
Colonies, is doubtful. From Lesbos and Cyme, fresh settlements were estab- 
lished on the Mysian and Thracian coasts. 

More important were the Ionian colonies to the south, which likewise num- 
bered twelve cities flourishing in commerce, art, productiveness, and wealth, 
and joined together in a loose bond founded on community of religion and 
worship. The most important of these are : Miletus, Pricne, Ephesus, 
Colophon, Phocaea, Teos (Anacreon's birthplace), and others ; also vEolian 
Smyrna united itself to their league ; and Samos and Chios, the chief seats 
of their maritime power, were counted as belonging to them. The central 
temple of Poseidon, where they celebrated every year the general festival of 
the Panionium and held their councils, stood on the promontory of Mycale, 
and was for several days made the centre of a busy popular gathering and 
intercourse. Oil and wine were the chief products of the soil, and the 



" Milesian garments," manufactured from fine wool, the principal art-product 
of their industry. 

Still further south lay the six Dorian colonial towns, also united into a 
league with the "sea-citadel" Halicarnassos (the birthplace of Herodotos), 
Cnidos, and the islands Rhodes and Cos. The yearly assemblies and coun- 
cils in the temple of the Triopic Apollo, on the promontory of the same 
name, were celebrated with general sacrifices and athletic contests ; and the 
prizes of victory, consisting of bronze tripods, were dedicated to the god of 
the league. Most of these colonies in their turns established other colonial 
towns. Thus, Miletus alone was the metropolis of eighty daughter towns. 


the greater number of them situated on the coast territory of the Black Sea, 
the Pontus Euxinus, and Sea of Marmora or Propontus. 

2. On the Hellespont, or Dardanelles, and on the coast of the Sea of 3Iar- 
mora and of the Black Sea. — Milesian Abydos, opposite Sestos in Thrace, 
famous for its poetic story of Hero and Leander ; Lampsacos, founded by 
Phocaeans ; Priapos, a Milesian colony, Heracleia, in Bithynia, colonized from 
Megara ; Milesian Cyzicos, on the narrow neck of a peninsula on the Thra- 
cian coast ; wealthy Perinthos, or Mygdonia, founded by Samians ; Chalce- 
don, like the important town of Byzantium, afterwards Constantinople, lying 
opposite the " key-citadel of the northern seas," on the bay of the " Golden 
Horn," a Megarian colony. In Paphlagonia lay the important and wealthy 
commercial town Sinope, a Milesian settlement, the birthplace of the philo- 
sopher Diogenes the Cynic, and metropolis of Cerasus, the native country of 


the cheny, and the important and influential commercial town of Trapezus. 
Among other Milesian settlements were : Phasis, in Colchis ; Tanais, on the 
Don ; Olbia, the " town of blessing," not far from the mouth of the Dnieper or 
Borysthenes ; Odessos, south of the mouths of the Danube, etc. These towns 
carried on a large trade in the produce of the country, such as furs, skins, 
wool, metals, which they procured from the barbarous inhabitants of the sur- 
rounding country, and transported to distant parts ; and also had a large 
trade in salted fish. The environs of these towns were most highly cultivated, 
so that they resembled large pleasure gardens. These communities exerted a 
beneficial influence on the habits and culture of the native population, whom 
they supplied with the products of their industry ; but in time they degener- 
ated to a great extent, while their prosperity induced luxury, self-indulgence, 
and enervation. 

3. On the coast of TJiracc and Macedonia were, — Abdera, founded by the 
citizens of Teos when they were flying before Cyrus ; this town, though the 
birthplace of several distinguished men (Democritos, Protagoras, and others), 
had the reputation of stupidity ; Amphipolis, on the Strymon, was Athenian. 
At a later period. King Philip of Macedonia caused the town of Philippi, — 
famous for the battle fought there, B.C. 42, — to be built between the two latter 
towns, in a district abounding in gold mines. In the peninsula of Chalcidice, 
considered to belong to Macedonia, — with its three promontories jutting into 
the vEgean Sea, and called respectively Acte (with the wild, rocky promon- 
tory of Athos), Sithonia, and Pallene, — lay Stageira, the birthplace of the 
philosopher Aristotle, Olynthos, and the Corinthian colony Potidaea, afterwards 
extended and called Cassandria, on the narrow projecting neck of land 

Colonies. — In lower Italy and Sicily. In lower Italy, — called, on account 
of its principal products, "vine-land," CEnotria, and "cattle-land," Italia, — the 
number of Greek colonial towns was so large that the subject and tributary 
native races of the inland districts spoke Greek, and the whole country was 
called "Great Greece." In spite of the many difficulties which the wild 
natives, as well as the piratical Tyrrhenians and the Carthaginians, who were 
extremely jealous of foreign trade, put in the way of the Greek colonies, these 
communities nevertheless attained to a prosperity, civilization, and maritime 
power which raised them almost to the level of the colonies of Asia Minor. 
With unwearied industry they constructed ingenious harbours, and trans- 
formed the uncultivated and frequently marshy soil into fertile fields and 
gardens ; nevertheless their wealth and easily attained prosperity produced in 
most of the towns a speedy decline into weakness and effeminacy. The 
Achc-ean towns, Sybaris and others in particular, soon lost their mental and 
physical elasticity ; consequently their influence on the civilization of the 
country was less important and lasting than in the case of the Dorian and 
Ionian colonial towns. Tarentum, a Lacedaemonian colony with a famous 
harbour, extensive trade and great wealth ; the citadel, or acropolis, stood 
on a rock. Tarentum was founded after the first Messenian war (about 
707 B.C.) by the so-called Parthenii, who, it is said, were denied civil rights in 
Sparta, because they were the offspring of mixed marriages between Dorian 
women and Helots. Luxury, dissipation, and self-indulgence weakened their 
citizens and brought about the ruin of the wealthy town at an early 
period. A particularly active life prevailed in this Italian Athens, that 
counted many wealthy people, but few of distinguished race among its 
shipping, fishing, and manufacturing population. It is remarkable that in 





id I 









this town, where all were laughed at and everything was turned into ridicule, 
the travestied or burlesque form of tragedy should have been inventedinnei 
There was Metapontum, which was Achaean ; Heracleia, Tarentine, etc. ;iieaiii 
Sybaris, Achaean, whose wealth caused its citizens to fall into a state that 
has caused the word Sybarite to become proverbial as designating festivity,i 
luxury, and extravagance. After its destruction (5 10 B.C.) by the hardy, frugal 
inhabitants of Crotona, where the important league founded by Pythagoras 
held sway, the town of Thurium was founded by Athens on nearly the same 
spot, about the year 444. Locri was famous for the written laws of Zaleucos, 
(660), a code based on the foundation of inculcating a strictly moral conduct, 
a simple manner of life, and a high moral sentiment. After Zaleucos, — who 
was chosen ^symnete, or dictator, by the inhabitants, who were always at wild 
feud among themselves, — had justly and wisely regulated the commonwealth, 
and enlarged the great council of the tribes by the admission of the middle 
class of citizens, he instilled into the people fear of the gods, virtue, honour, 
and simplicity of life, in impressive lessons and precepts, and laid the great- 
est stress on the cultivation of honourable thought and action. He tried 
especially to check the prevailing luxury. He forbad the men to wear 
" Milesian garments " and gold rings, and to drink undiluted wine. The 
women were to dress in white, and when they walked abroad, were to be 
followed by only one slave. Rhegium, of mixed population ; Hyele, Elea, or 
Velia, a colony of the Phocseans, the birthplace of the philosophers Parmenides 
and Zeno, the founders of the Eleatic school of philosophy ; Poseidonia, or 
Paestum, where are still to be seen the famous ruins of Doric temples ; Cum^, 
in Campania ; Parthenope, the most ancient colonial town of lower Italy, 
and the metropolis of Neapolis, with other colonial towns on Vesuvius, famous 
for the oracle of the Sibyls. The Cumaeans, who passed over from the fruitful 
island of ^naria, or Ischia, to the continent and settled on a naturally fortified 
rock close to the sea, followed the laws of Charondas, and were the most 
zealous propagators of Hellenic civilization in that country. 

In Sicily we have to notice as colonies Zancle, opposite Rhegium, on the 
swiftly rushing straits called Messana (Messina) from the immigration of the 
Messenians ; Catana, at the foot of the snow-covered volcano Etna, in a fertile 
country abounding with orange and citron trees, with groves of figs, olives, etc., 
founded by lonians from Chalcis, noted for the laws of Charondas (about r>.C. 
640), who, like Zaleucus, endeavoured to promote purity and morality in the 
nation and race, the discipline and culture of youth, and the awakening of feel- 
ings of piety, and to obviate all kinds of judicial irresponsibility by the establish- 
ment of definite statutes. Syracuse, with its two splendid harbours, originally 
established by the Corinthians on the small island of Ortygia (B.C. 735), but in 
course of time extending far over the rising coasts, and comprising five divi- 
sions, and becoming distinguished for its trade, wealth, and maritime power ; 
Gela, the birthplace of the tyrants Gelon and Hieron ; Acragas, or Agrigen- 
tum, lying in a district abounding with corn, oil, and vines, — a wealthy, artistic, 
magnificent town — with its splendid temple of Zeus ; it was situate on a high, 
broad terrace of the south coast, and about the year 560 fell under the do- 
minion of the cruel tyrant Phalaris. Selinus ; Segesta ; Panormos, or Palermo ; 
Himera ; and others. The Hellenes reduced the old inhabitants of the island 
to the condition of serfs, obliging them to till the fields and tend the herds ; 
but they carried the germs of civilization and culture further into the country. 

5. In Africa, Spain, and Gallia. — Cyrene, in a fruitful hilly country abound- 
ing in streams, near the present Tripoli, a Dorian colony. Their extensive 



rade by land through Egypt and Nubia, and their commerce by sea, in corn, 

vine, oil, southern fruits, saffron, and the favourite spice, brought the Cyre- 

eans great wealth, Avhich was the cause of their falling at last into luxury 

nd prodigality of life. This was the birthplace of the philosopher Aristippos, 

he founder of the Cyrenean school of philosophy, Masalia, or Massilia, the 

lnodern Marseilles, in southern Gaul, founded by the inhabitants of the 

onian town Phocaea, after their flight from Cyrus ; they transformed the 

tony soil into vine and olive gardens, and carried on a very extensive trade. 

he town was especially famed for its excellent republican constitution, and 

"or the frugality, domestic temperance, and civilization of its inhabitants. 

The olive-tree was the pride of the Ionian population in the sunny land of 

Provence, and the chief source of their wealth. Saguntum in Spain, founded 

|by Zacynthos, was remarkable both for its trade and the love of freedom 

and patriotism which it exemplified at the beginning of the second Punic 

war. These and other Greek colonial towns, with the Spanish town Emporiae, 

were the great nurseries of civilization, culture, and noble forms of life for the 

whole western world. 




The Epic Poetry of the Greeks. 

Its oi'ls^in. — The 



most ancient poetry, which was ascribed to Thracian 
and sacred in character. All poetry, indeed, has 
its origin in religion. The soul, filled with dim perceptions of a higher 
world, and of a divine, external power remaining unaltered through all the 
changes of external nature, feels impelled to give utterance to its longing 
and its aspirations in prayer and in songs of praise to the gods. As in 
the course of development, the old Pelasgian theories, with the religious 
worship of nature, succumbed to Hellenic heroism and to the Olym- 
pian world of divinities, and the pastoral shepherd and peasant life was 
superseded by an existence full of activity, of ardour for war, indulgence in 
merry repasts, and knightly pleasures, so the religious subjective poetry 
produced and fostered by priestly poets, passed away, and objective epic 
poetry, the property of a warlike and chivalrous company concerning itself 

with earthly things, gained the ascend- 
ency. Men were no longer content to 

turn to the gods with prayers and 


supplication alone ; they sang of the 
exploits of these deities, of their des- 
tinies, battles, and active existence, 
and passed from them to the heroes of 
olden time, the ancestors of chivalrous 
races, Avhose lives and deeds alone ap- 
peared as representations of the hea- 
venly life. While the ancient religious 
poet had obtained the inspiration of 
his poem from within his own breast, 
so that his song was the expression of 
his religious mood and sentiment, the 
epic poet turned to the world of out- 
ward things, took his materials from 
myths, legends, and heroic traditions, 
and sought to bring forth and produce 
scenes and events long past and far 
distant, so as to present them clearly 
and visibly to the perceptions of his 
epic poet thus consists in describing the 

life and actions, with 

hearers or readers. The art of the 

forms which his imagination presented to him, their 

the perfect tranquillity of a passionless spectator, never allowing his own 

personality, emotions, and feelings to interpose in his story. 

The heroic period of a poetically gifted peojDle, who are capable of clearly 
perceiving the forms of the outward world, is usually accompanied by a 
chivalrous class of poets ; for the inspiration which impels to heroic deeds, 
generally produces the poetry which reflects and extols them. In the Homeric 
lays we find many traces of the existence of such heroic songs in the age 
of ancient Greek heroes before the Dorian emigrations. Princes and heroes 
cultivated the arts of music and poetry. Wandering poets, belonging to certain 
families and confederations in which the technical parts of song, music, and 
rhythm were cultivated, ennobled the festivals of the kings and nobles by 


singing to the lyre, and were highly honoured as the favourites and servants 
of the Muses. To be celebrated in song was considered by the heroes as an 
enviable distinction. 

Homer (about 950 B.C.). — The Greek colonists carried the germs of epic 
poetry with them from the mother country to their settlements in Asia Minor ; 
and there, in that beautiful land, with its splendid climate and blue sunny 
skies, among a prosperous and cheerful population, it reached a degree of 
development and perfection which has never again been attained. The 
I highest point of this epic poetry is identified with the name of Homer, who 
was, according to tradition, a blind bard, whose life is involved in such ob- 
scurity that already in ancient times seven towns contended for the honour 
of being his birthplace. The Homeric poetry obtains its contents from 
the circle of traditions which surround the battles before Ilium and the 
destinies and wanderings of the returning heroes. The two great epic poems 
which bear the name of Homer, are the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the 
former of these poems the "wrath of Achilles " was depicted, and the battles 
of the Achseans and Trojans before Ilium during fifty-one or fifty-three days 
in the last year of the war, until the funeral of Hector ; the latter contained 
the fate and adventures of Ulysses and his companions during their ten years' 
wanderings, and the proceedings of the presumptuous wooers at the prince's 
court at Ithaca. There is little difference of opinion on the point that these 
poems had their origin in Ionia, both the subject and metre (dactylic 
hexameter) being characteristic of the country, and that Homer's birthplace 
was either Chios or more probably Smyrna ; whereas there are various 
opinions as to the origin, preservation, and transmission of the poems, as 
the art of writing was unknown in Greece at that time, and consequently the 
poems can only have been transmitted to writing at a later period. While 
some inquirers do not consider the Homeric poems as the work of one great 
poetic genius, but as the productions of an Ionian school of poets subse- 
quently collected and arranged, handed down for centuries by mere verbal 
transmission, the separate portions learnt by heart and recited by wandering 
poets called rhapsodists, until Pisistratos collected them and set them down 
in writing ; others cannot become reconciled to the theory, that a poem which 
bears such a uniform and homogeneous character is the work of many hands, 
and either maintain the old belief that Homer was the author of both com- 
positions in their present form, or assume that they are the original produc- 
tions of a poet Homer, collected by later poets, the rhapsodists, separated in 
the course of verbal transmission, enlarged by additions, and subsequently 
re-united into a whole by Pisistratos. The Homeric poems exerted a great 
influence, not only on the progress of civilization among the Greeks, but also 
on the artistic culture of the whole of Europe. They were an inexhaustible 
source of art and poetry ; and after they had been committed to writing, they 
were impressed on the memory of youth, and used as a means of awakening 
national feeling, patriotism, piety, and a sense of beauty ; they served the 
Greek as a mirror of his national characteristics, his power of heroism, as 
well as his cunning shrewdness. Posterity honoured them as the first lofty 
sound of the European intellect ; it admired in them the reality of portraiture 
and the living truth, the harmonious proportion, the cheerful view of life, 
and the great artistic sagacity made to harmonize with childlike simplicity, 
and with the wealth of imagination — it was delighted with the harmonious 
blending of nature and art. The poems of Homer possess all the freshness 
of nature, whose simple language they speak, and the originality of popular 



poetry, and have yet attained to true artistic perfection, and are moreover 
pervaded by the highest spiritual and moral nobility. 1 

The parody of the Iliad known by the name of the Battle of the Frogs and 
Mice (Batrachomyomachia), a comic heroic poem, in which the battles of the 
frogs and mice are represented in a similar manner to the warlike deeds of 
the Achaean and Trojan heroes, was probably composed about the year B.C. 
500, also in Ionia. The hymns that have been attributed to Homer, belong 
also to later writers, called Homerides. The larger among them contain 
epic descriptions of certain occurrences from the myths concerning different 
divinities, with representations of their characters ; the smaller poems were 
without doubt introductory poems, called prooemia, which the rhapsodists 







sang with musical accompaniment before commencing their recitations of 
the heroic legend, in order by the prelude to awaken the attention of their 

Hesiod. — The great interest taken by the whole of Greece in the Iliad 
and the Odyssey could not fail to arouse the desire and idea of see- 
ing the issue of this much-extolled war treated in a similar manner, and 
suggested the further inquiry as to the origin and commencement of the 
heroic battle of Troy. Thus in the course of years, many epic poems ap- 
peared, which resembled the Iliad and the Odyssey in form and substance, 
and which treated the remaining narratives from the traditions of the Trojan 
war in a similar strain, in similar language, and in the same description of 
verse, and often with a repetition of the words and expressions found in 
the Iliad. Most of these poems so closely followed their great model, that 



later generations ascribed them to Homer himself, in times when the poet's 
name had already become an abstract idea, a general conception and re- 
presentation of the epic form of poetry. This fiction was all the more 
credible as the generality of the authors were rhapsodists, and therefore 
frequently recited their later productions along with the genuine poems. 
Thus the Trojan traditions were expanded and continued on all sides by a 
number of poets, who certainly founded their work on Homer, and perpetu- 
ated all his characteristics; and inasmuch as they moved round him in a. 
circle, they were called cyclical poets ; but who, as can be gathered from the 
few preserved fragments and accounts, remained at an immeasurable distance 
behind their model. To this class belonged the " ^thiopis," and the 
" Destruction of Ilion," by Arctinus the poet of Miletus, and " Cypria " by 
Stasinus of Cyprus, an epic poem in which the causes of the Trojan war and 
the events of the first nine years, up to the commencement of the Iliad, were 
related. In the same manner the return of the heroes, as described in existing 
traditions, was poetically treated in the so-called " Nost?e," which, borrowing 
from the Odyssey, described in detail the destinies of the Atrid^, which were 
much enlarged by the interweaving of scattered colonial legends. And when 
the traditions of the pre-Homeric and of the subsequent period were ex- 
hausted, the epic poets took up other mythical subjects, such as the Theban 
and Heracleidic traditions, and these they represented according to Homer's 
style and manner, in a similar form and metre (the hexameter) which was 
thenceforth customary in all epic poems. They gave the narratives in the 
Homeric manner, though they laid more stress on the facts and gave more 
prominence to historical information. Soon afterwards, however, didactic 
poetry came into existence in the mother country of Greece, combining with 
the epic form, but only using poetry as a means of propagating doctrines 
concerning divine and human things. Hesiod is regarded as the founder of 
this didactic species of poetry. Hesiod of Ascra, at the foot of Helicon, lived 
about a hundred years after Homer (850), and was, like the latter, the head 
of a school of poets in Boeotia ; consequently his poems also must not be 
regarded as the productions of a single individual. He marks the transition 
stage from the chivalrous heroic age to the time of the aspiring citizenship, 
a condition which becomes manifest in his two great poems. The Theogonia, 
an epic, didactic poem on the origin of the universe and the history of the 
gods, still belongs to the heroic period, while the didactic poem " Works and 
Days " (domestic precepts) has in it a character of social citizenship. 

The dry, instructive, and tranquil tone of the poems of Hesiod is as far 
removed from the fervour and imagination of the Homeric epics, as the 
gloomy, melancholy conceptions of the Boeotian poet from the brightness 
and geniality of the Ionian. We thus obtain a proof that the ^olian 
Boeotians did not participate in the vigorous prosperity, wealth, and enjoy- 
ments of the kindred races in Asia, that they were compelled, on the contrary, 
to meet the difficulties of life that beset them, with severe toil, and had not 
yet attained to any satisfactory political condition. 

Note.— With respect to Greek names, our readers will remember that where it was 
formerly the general custom to give these with the termination us (Herodotus, etc.), the pre- 
vailing practice is now to use the Greek os, and similarly to substitute the k for the c when 
representing the Greek Kappa, as Phcenikia, for the now familiar form Phoenicia. We ha\'e 
adopted a compromise between the two systems, not interfering with those words,_ like 
Phoenicia, which have become familiar in the old spelling, but in others, as Kymon, indi- 
cating the change. 


The Manners and Customs of the Hellenes. — Temples and Re- 
ligious Ceremonies. — The Olympic Games. — The Olympian 
Zeus. — The Earliest Forms of Government in Greece. — The 
Spartans. — Lycurgus and his Laws. — The Dorlans and tpieir 
Government.— Division into Classes. — Social Regulations. — 
Education of the Youth of Sparta. — Public Banquets or 
Andreia. — The Messenian Wars. — Aristomenes. — Supremacy 
OF the Spartans in the League. 

GREECE never constituted one com- 
plete kingdom, but was divided into 
a number of independent cantons and 
communities of towns, the most powerful 
of which, from time to time, in the kind 
of confederation formed by the towns, 
exercised a predominant influence ; this 
was known as hegemony. Such prepon- 
derating towns were Sparta, Athens, 
Thebes. But language, customs, and as- 
sociation in religious rites united all the 
races into one nation, which, — in contra- 
distinction to the other nations, collectively 
designated under the name of barbarians, 
was called Hellenic. A remarkable capacity for im- 
provement raised the Greeks, and the Ionian race in 
paiticular, to a degree of mental cultivation which has 
smce never been equalled ; love of freedom and manly 
energy led them to establish many independent republican 
commonwealths, in which they first united with patriotic 
enthusiasm, and whose freedom they defended with their 
heart's blood, until party animosities stifled their nobler 
feelings. Activity and industry created universal prosperity, and the beautiful 

country and cloudless sky, combined with a healthy and propitious climate, 



produced a delight in life, and a cheerful temperament. Their simple mode 
of life caused them to have but few wants ; and contentment with the easily- 
obtained produce of the fruitful soil and favourably situated country, dis- 
pelled all the cares and anxieties of existence, and allowed all to appreciate 
and cultivate the intellectual pleasures that spring from poetry, art, and 
science. To a people so highly gifted, and so distinguished for physical 
beauty and symmetry of form, all alien races must have appeared uncivilized 
and barbarous ; and as they never allowed non-Hellenic elements to enjoy 
equal rights and privileges with themselves in the internal matters of political 
life, they always retained their national vigour and characteristics. 

There nevertheless existed certain institutions and customs connected 
with religion, which were common to all Hellenic races. The chief of these 
was the Amphictyonic league, or Temple union, associated with the temple of 
Delphi, — a council of arbitrators, to which twelve Greek states sent delegates, 
whose aim was to protect the national sanctuary at Delphi, and to check the 
destructive effects of the wars among the Hellenic kindred tribes, — and next, 
the Delphic oracle, which gradually eclipsed and supplanted all similar 
institutions. At every important undertaking the Apollo at Delphi was 
consulted ; and Pythia, a priestess in a state of inspired fury, seated on a 
golden tripod, gave forth an answer in dark and not unfrequently ambiguous 
and enigmatical sentences. A third institution that formed a bond of union 
among all Greek states and races, was that of the great national festivals, 
celebrated with sacrifices, with gymnastic games and contests in music, 
poetry, and dances, which were held at fixed seasons in honour of Zeus, 
Apollo, and Poseidon, in the plains of Olympia, in the sanctuary of the 
Pythian Apollo, at Nemea, and on the sea-washed Isthmus. The most 
ancient and famous of these were the celebrated Olympic games, which were 
held every four years in a plain on the Alpheus in Elis, and during whose 
continuance, in the sacred month of the summer season, a period of universal 
peace prevailed. They consisted chiefly in racing, boxing, wrestling, throwing 
the discus and spears, and in chariot races ; and the victor was rewarded with 
a wreath of olive twigs, which was regarded as an enviable distinction, and 
was esteemed not only as a mark of distinction for the recipient, but also 
a token of honour for his family and his native town. The victor was escorted 
home in a triumphal procession ; and amid songs of praise which were 
composed by the most distinguished poets, such as Pindar and Simonides, he 
was conducted to the temple of the tutelar divinity of the town, where the 
joyful event was celebrated with a thankful sacrifice and a merry feast. The 
works of artists, poets, and literary writers were also brought under considera- 
tion at these national festivals. Indeed, according to a wide-spread tradition, 
Herodotos, the father of history, is said to have publicly read some portions 
of his work at a great festival, and to have thereby excited the emulation of 
Thucydides, the greatest of all historical writers. The temple of the Olympian 
Zeus, and the colossal statue of the god in a sitting posture, adorned with 
gold and ivory, by Phidias the Athenian, are among the most beautiful 
triumphs of Greek art. In the head the sculptor contrived to unite might 
and grace, majesty and mildness ; and the locks were those of the Homeric 
Zeus, whose movement made Olympus tremble. Religion, the promoter of 
every higher aspiration in the human soul, tended to advance the sentiment 
of mental culture, and mitigated by other sacred laws and institutions the 
severity of the Greek conception of justice, according to which only citizens 
of the same state enjoyed the protection of the laws, and perpetual banish- 





ment was made equivalent to punishment by death. Thus the consecrated 
bond of hospitahty embraced states, races, and individuals ; thus a pious 
feeling gave protection to the suppliant oppressed by heavy bloodguiltiness ; 
thus every herald was considered sacred and inviolable, and found respect 
even in the hottest contest ; and holy customs checked the loosened power of 

From these and similar laws and institutions, depending on custom, usage, 
and tradition, and placed under the protection of religion, there was developed 
in course of time an Hellenic system of national law. 

The Earliest Forms of Government in Greece. 

In all the Greek states at the commencement kings ruled, holding patri- 
archal power, w^ho, as the chief judges, dispensed justice, led the warlike 
forces into battle, and in the name of the people offered up sacrifices to the 
gods and celebrated festivals. Their power, whose origin they traced back 

to the gods, was maintained within limits 
fixed by law and custom. As the chief of 
the gods, Zeus himself, was subject to the 
voice of Fate, so are kings subject to the 
idea of justice, which dwells with the gods, 
and the knowledge of which has been in- 
herited by kings, in virtue of the relation- 
ship of these earthly rulers to the deities. 
Although the king's title was hereditary, 
certain advantages, such as personal strength, 
wisdom, and a lofty stature and commanding 
presence, were regarded as necessary quali- 
ties of princes, who were to be "the most 
excellent among the nation." Their revenue 
consisted in honorary gifts and the produce 
of some public land that was considered as 
their property ; and their power lay in their 
great importance and authority, and in the 
veneration that was accorded to them. They 
stood at the head of the noble families who composed their council, and who, 
like the kings, were distinguished by birth and riches, as well as by warlike 
courage and skill in martial exercises. When, in course of time, this bond, 
founded on veneration and allegiance, became loosened between the king 
and the nobles, the privileged families of chiefs sought more and more to 
weaken the princely power, and to increase their own influence at the expense 
of the royal authority, until they became so powerful that they could entirely 
set "aside royalty, and establish a republican form of rule by an aristocracy. 

The princely families, from whom the kings had been taken, now fell into 
the same rank as the warrior nobility and priest nobility, though for a time 
they asserted a higher position for themselves, such as the Codrides and 
Alcmaeonids in Athens, the Bacchiades at Corinth, and others. The priestly 
dignity alone still remained the sole possession of certain families, partly 
because the practice of religion, depending on custom and transmission, is 
less aftccted by change than the temporal laws and institutions of civil life ; 
partly, also, because certain arts, sciences, and occupations were peculiar to 
certain families, as for instance the art of divination and the knowledge of the 




Eleusinian mysteries to the Athenian Eumolpidze, the power of healing to 
the Asclepiada2 in Epidaurus and Cos, etc. The members of this aristocratic 
class depending on noble birth, held possessions in land with tributary 
peasant cultivators ; they served in the army as knights or horsemen, took 
part in the contests and gymnastic games, administered the civil offices, and 
offered up sacrifices to the gods at their own cost, considering these things as 
the honourable prerogatives of their position. As the sole possessors of 
culture, knowledge of the law, and martial prowess, they found no difficulty 
in excluding the Demos, or bulk of the people, condemned to toil and treated 
with little esteem — the peasants, traders, and sailors — from any participation 
in the government. But when increasing trade and industry spread prosperity 
and civilization among the people, and unanimity and equality of rank dis- 
appeared from among the nobles, who placed their own personal interests 
above law and custom, and regarded the importance of their position more 
highly than the common weal ; and when in course of time the example of 
the colonized towns, which attained to great prosperity with their civil 
equality, had re-acted on the mother-state, then at length the power of the 
dominant caste was gradually broken. Thus liberty had to undergo many 
pains and trials, until it was purged from all dross, and law, constitution, and 
habits of civil life were regulated by equality, discipline, and order. 

There existed in all the Greek towns, without political rights, bondsmen 
and slaves from foreign countries. All manner of handicraft that was merely 
useful was given up to them, as well as retail trade and small industries ; and 
all occupations for the acquisition of a livelihood marked with the stigma of 
" banausia," while the free-born Hellenes only engaged in artistic industries 
and wholesale trade. 

The Laws of Lycurgus (Lykurgos) and the Messenian Wars. 

Through their emigration, and under new conditions, the old simple 
habits of the Dorians had gradually deteriorated, an unwarlike spirit threat- 
ened to creep in, national hatred between the conquering and the conquered 
races disturbed peaceful unity, and disorders perplexed the governments. This, 
about the year 884, caused Lycurgus, a patriotic Spartan of royal blood, whose 
father had been stabbed in the public highway during the civil war, to form 
the design of procuring internal tranquillity for his native town, and likewise 
the predominance of Sparta over the other states by the restoration and firm 
establishment of the ancient Dorian institutions. He therefore betook him- 
self to the island of Crete, famed for its good laws, a region where the Dorian 
population maintained the original laws and customs, made himself familiar 
with their institutions, and on his return gave to the Spartans the remark- 
able constitution, the principles of which can be recognized in the regulation 
of the whole government and the laws for private life ; although various insti- 
tutions, laws, and customs which were only developed in the course of many 
years afterwards, have been attributed by the natural respect of succeeding 
generations to the renoumed lawgiver himself. 

Form of government. — The ruling power was in the hands of the Dorians, 
who, undertaking no other occupations, devoted themselves solely to military 
exercises, carried on wars, and governed the kingdom. Divided into tribes or 
Phylai, and into confederations of families called Obae, they selected in their 
popular assemblies a council of elders, the Gerusia, to whom belonged the 
government and the administration of the law ; and the five annual Ephori, 



who were at first only district overseers, superintendents of communities, and 
judges in civil affairs, but who afterwards, when they had been invested with 
an imperial power of control over social manners, public education, and the 
manner in which offices were administered, — even those of the Gerontes or 
councillors, — acquired complete authority and even summoned kings to their 
answer. The council of elders consisted of twenty-eight members of at least 
sixty years of age, belonging to the noble families. They were chosen for life. 
The presidents in this council were the two Spartan kings, who united the 
offices of high-priest and chief judge with the generalship of the army. It was 
necessary they should belong to the family of Heracleides, and therefore they 
enjoyed their dignities as the inherited privilege of their birth. In home 
affairs the kings enjoyed less power than respect ; but in time of war they were 
always the leaders, and possessed unlimited command. The popular assembly, 
composed of all free citizens who were over thirty }'ears of age, had the right 


of affirming or rejecting the propositions of the kings and the council without 

The whole constitution was founded on equality of property. To this end 
the whole country of Laconia was so divided in course of years that the 9000 
Spartan families possessed the same number, namely 9000 indivisible and 
inalienable properties or farms, inherited by right of primogeniture ; and the 
30,000 Perioeci were also provided with possessions of lesser extent ; while the 
Helots had no property, but, as serfs and day labourers, cultivated the fields 
of the noble Dorian possessors of the soil, and gave up to the owners of the 
land a certain portion of the produce of corn, wine, oil, etc. In the towns 
also they were obliged to undertake labours and employments, which the 
Dorian nobleman considered beneath his dignity. Of a wild and unruly 
temper, the Helots did not endure the bondage of slavery and the loss of 


"recdom, honour, political, and even human rights, without violent repug- 
nance, and were always ready to engage in wars and insurrections against 
;heir oppressors, and to strengthen the hands of an enem}-. For this reason 
die Spartan youths were permitted to kill some of the Helots for practice and 
dexterity in the stratagems of war, and for the security of the country, that 
their preponderance might not become dangerous to the Spartan citizens. 
These licensed murders were called Crypteia. Every year, accordingly, a 
number of young Spartans were despatched by the Ephori to different parts 
of the country, to roam through the district, and strike down secretly with the 
dagger every suspected person ; in critical times, too, the boldest and most 
enterprising were also secretly made away with. In war the Helots usually 
served as light-armed troops and camp guards, and in the fleet as rowers and 
marine soldiers. They were the slaves of the commonwealth, not of indi- 
vidual citizens, therefore the proprietor of the estate could neither kill, sell, 
nor liberate a Helot. It belonged to the Government alone to alter their con- 
dition and, for accomplished services, to vouchsafe them liberty and a limited 
admission to civil rights. 

Social Regulations. — In order that the Dorian might maintain the rights 
with which his birth invested him, by means of physical and intellectual 
superiority, the state took the education of the youthful citizen entirely into 
its own hands. Weak, infirm, or deformed children were, according to the 
old accounts, exposed immediately after birth in a ravine of the Taygetus ; 
probably they were thrust out among the Periceci. Healthy children were 
removed from their parents' house on completing their sixth year, to be 
brought up in public institutions. This system of education, combined with 
severe discipline, besides including the study of the law^s and of vigorous 
moral precepts, was specially directed towards the hardening of the body and 
the promotion of physical health and vigour, and consequently gymnastic 
exercises in the public gymnasia or palestrae, and martial training in the open 
air on the rugged slopes of the Taygetus, under the management and super- 
vision of the guardians of education, constituted its most important feature. 
But the understanding also received its share of cultivation, for the shrewd- 
ness and cunning of the Spartans, and the admirable wit of their replies were 
[not less famous than the pithy, ingenious brevity of their discourse, which has 
in consequence been designated as " laconic." Feeling and fancy, however, 
found but little scope in their scheme, and science and oratory were neither 
esteemed nor cultivated in Sparta ; while epic and dramatic poetry were not 
lifted beyond the sphere of low popular amusement. Dorian art was dis- 
tinguished only by vigour and strict harmony ; not, like Ionian art, by beauty 
and grace. Lyric poetry, with singing, music, and dances, the only carefully 
cultivated art of the Spartan people, bore the impress of the simple, earnest, 
character of the race, serving particularly to awaken and animate patriotism, 
love of warfare, and national feeling, and to promote a harmonious temper of 
mind and manly sentiment. This lyric poetry was limited almost exclu- 
sively to religious songs or hymns, battle songs, and poetic maxims, or 
Gnomoi. The intimate association of boys and youths with experienced and 
mature men was regarded as the best means of education towards practical 
worth. The mutual affection thus engendered between master and pupil was 
regarded as ennobling and improving : the abuse of this influence was 
punished with dishonour and contempt. 

The education of girls was carried on in a similar manner. Their places 
of exercise were indeed separated from those of the bo}'s ; but public contests 



and games were held, at which girls and boys met together as spectators, ant 
their applause or derision was no slight stimulus to the exertions of th 
combatants. The public education of the boys already tended to loosei 
and weaken the bonds of family life ; and this was even more the case in th' 
severance of the grown male population in daily life. For all the Doriai 
men were united in associations, who ate together in messes or companie: 
so that it was usual for fifteen mess-mates to sit at one table, united togethe 
by their own free choice and mutual inclination. The women had thei 
meals at home, and boys and youths in their special divisions or classes! 
Thus the male population was placed under the continual supervision o 
the community. The position of women was freer and nobler than ir 
other parts of Greece, and the relations of men towards them bore a tingt' i» 
of chivalry. The bride was carried off from the parental home. Spartar 
women were also not less noted for their conjugal fidelity and domestic anc 
social virtues, than for their strength and beauty. The public " men's repasts,' 
called Andreia, were extremely plain and frugal, and the expense was 

defrayed by the contributions of the partakers. The 


only bore 


the cost of the royal table. The so-called black broth, with barley bread 
and a goblet of wine, formed the bulk of the repast, and for dessert, cheese, 
figs, and olives were provided. Luxury and self-indulgence were to be 
avoided in every way ; and for this reason the houses were built in a rude and 
comfortless fashion, only the use of the axe and saw being permitted in their 
construction. In the same way all money coined from precious metals was 
banished from general use, so that no one had the means of procuring 
unnecessary enjoyments ; merchandise was transferred in the way of barter, 
and rudely coined iron money was used for the business of daily life ; and 
in order to prevent any one gaining experience of, or becoming accustomed 
to, other pleasures in life, the Spartans were forbidden to take aimless 
journeys into other states ; and strangers who might corrupt their primitive 


ini customs were prohibited from settling, or even making any lengthened 
sojourn in Sparta. 

Hunting and martial exercises were the chief occupations of the grown 
Spartan ; the cultivation of the soil was given over to the Helots, and trade 
and commerce devolved on the Periceci. The whole existence of the Spartan 
had reference to warfare. In the town he lived as in a camp, and the time 
of war was his time of festival and rejoicing. Robed in purple mantles, 
with long hair and beard, the Spartans marched into the field of battle to 
|the sound of flutes and stringed instruments, and before the combat they 
ojadorned themselves as though for a joyful festival. The old wooden repre- 
ilsentation of the Dioskuri, the guardian divinities of the country, was borne 
Jin front of the soldiers as an emblem of brave combat and faithful comrade- 
ailship. The strength of the army depended on the heavily-armed foot soldiers, 
the Hoplctes, consisting of divisions known as Soches and Moras, with many 
sub-divisions and complete arrangement ; and consequently, under the leader- 
ship of numerous warlike chiefs of companies and troops, who commanded 
the different divisions, they could without confusion execute various and 
intricate evolutions. Messmates stood next each other in the battlefield, 
bound together like good comrades in life as in death. Having once taken 
up his position, the Spartan never wavered or retreated ; he conquered, or 
fell where he stood, for cowards were crushed by the public contempt. Strict 
obedience, and subordination of the young to the old, w^as the essence of 
warlike education and culture in Sparta, which was a true temple of honour 
for the aged. 

After these statutes, or decrees, called Rhetra, had been confirmed by 
the Delphic oracle, which, as the great national sanctuary, exercised at all 
times a decisive influence on the internal affairs of the Dorians, Lycurgus 
made the Spartans swear that they would change nothing therein until he 
returned from the journey he proposed to make. He is then said to have 
set out for Crete, and to have died there. His grateful country, however, 
erected a temple to the great lawgiver, and established a hero-worship in 
his honour, which was entrusted to the direction of his own family. 

The results of the Lykurgan constitution soon showed themselves. In a 
short time the poor, petty state obtained the sovereignty or hegemony over 
the Peloponnesus and the whole of Greece, after having subjugated in the 
renewed Messenian wars the kindred neighbouring state of Messenia, which, 
with its mild and fertile mountain and coast country, had prospered in trade 
and agriculture during a long peace. Private strife, brought about by the 
Spartans' love of combat and conquest, was the most immediate cause of this 
war. The Messenians were made dependent even in the first war (730-710 B.C.), 
after their strong citadel Ithome had been taken, and their hero Aristodemus 
had stabbed himself in despair on the grave of his daughter, whom he had 
fruitlessly sacrificed to propitiate victory. They promised, as tenants of the 
soil, or tributaries, to surrender the half of the annual produce, and to lament 
the death of a Lakonian king or chief officer as a national calamity. In 
the words of an ancient elegy, " They were crushed like mules under heavy 
burdens, and surrendered to their masters, under severe compulsion, the half 
of all their field fruits, and both men and women mourned for their departed 
rulers." Many however emigrated, preferring a free life among strangers to 
slavery in their own country. They founded Rhegium in southern Italy, 
at the same time that the Spartan Parthenise established Tarentum. 

In the second war (between 670 and 630) the Messenians, enraged at the 



cruelty and contempt of the Spartans, and excited to revenge by the fugitives 
who had taken refuge in the neighbouring country, succeeded at first, through ?J?" 
the heroic deeds of the brave and crafty Aristomenes, in gaining some advan- 
tages, so that the Spartans, defeated and dispirited, made overtures for peace 
From this pusillanimous mood they were roused by the poet Tyrtaeos of 
the Attic town of Aphidnae, who, it is related, was sent by the Athenians in 
mockery to their assistance. With his war-songs and war-elegies Tyrtxos' 
rekindled, by a recital of the deeds of their ancestors, the sinking flame of 
national pride among the Spartans, aroused their, slumbering feelings of 
honour and manly love of warfare, and at the same time awakened, in his 
work called Eunomia, or Legal Order, a regard and reverence for ancient 
Dorian laws and for authority. Encouraged by these songs, the Spartans 




engaged in fresh battles, and by means of bravery and stratagem at the 
" great trench " so crushed the power of their enemies, that the latter now 
avoided the open battle-field, and confined themselves to skirmishes among 
the mountains and to defensive warfare behind their strong fortresses. 
Aristomenes was taken prisoner by the Spartans and flung over a precipice ; 
but, according to the historical tradition, was miraculously saved by an eagle 
and a fox, who, coming to prey on the corpses in the cave, showed him the way 
to daylight and safety. In spite of the valiant deeds of the celebrated hero, 
the Spartans obtained the victory after having taken the Messenian fortress 
Eira, which had been regarded as impregnable. A large number of the Mes- 
senians emigrated, and established themselves in the ancient colonial town of 
Zankle in Sicily, which subsequently received from them its name of Messina. 



Vristomenes and his followers found a home with the Arkadians, while the 
)opulation who remained behind were condemned to the miserable fate of 
ielots. Aristomenes is said to have made his way with a small band of 
aithful followers to Rhodes, where he died. On the summit of Eira there 
.re still some remains of walls visible. 

From this time a deadly hatred existed between the two kindred nations — 

L hatred which was shown in repeated tumults, civil wars, and emigrations, 

bid which resulted in imposing on the vanquished a still more oppressive 

'■oke of slavery. Even the Arcadians, who had long resisted the attacks of 

he Spartans, were at last reduced to submission, and to a recognition of 

Spartan superiority in about the year 600 B.C. The Tegeatee, the bravest of 

he Arkadians, had from that time assigned to them the place of honour on 

he extreme left wing of the Dorian battle array. Argos, the royal residence 

)f the old Achsean princes, and the inheritance of the most ancient branch 

)f the Heracleidae, which had been made the head of a confederacy in the 

)th century (about 750), through the acquisition of Corinth and other territory 

Dy king Pheidon I., who had established it on a strong foundation, by the 

establishment of fixed measures, weights, and coinage (hence the ^ginaean 

scale), was compelled to relinquish its title to the dominion or hegemony 

Dver the Peloponnesus to the younger line, after having lost the long- 

zontested country of Kynuria, with the town of Thyrea, through the heroic 

xploit of Othryades the Spartan in the year 550 ; and after sustaining a 

severe defeat from king Cleomes at Tiryns in 524, jealous at the fame of 

the kindred neighbouring state, the Argives from that time kept aloof from 

ill undertakings in which the Spartans held the chief command, and the 

atter contented themselves with the honour of having humbled the older 

ibranch of the race. By virtue of the position they had attained, the Spartans 

were the leaders of the army in every war undertaken by the confederacy, 

fixed the number of men each state had to furnish to the army of the 

Peloponnesian union, and held the presidency of the council of the league. 



The Alkaleonids. — Their Destruction. — Solon and his Laws. 
— Phyl.e, Phratrle, and Races. — The Archons. — The Council 
OE THE Areiopagos.— Solon's Travels and Return to Athens. 
— The Party Chiefs and their Ambitious Designs. — Dis- 


" Solon the next, who built his commonweal 
On equity's wide base ; — by tender laws 
A lively people curbing." — Thoinson. 

(■\^ '.■■ .... 




/GOVERNMENT by Eamilics in 
^-^ Athens. — While the Spartans, 
who regulated their lives according to 
fixed and deeply rooted principles, 
maintained for centuries the aristocratic 
military constitution of Lycurgus, the 
lively and excitable Athenians intro- 
among themselves very various 
of government in succession, 
the glorious death of Codrus, 
the royal office is said to have been 
abolished, and a leader was chosen for 
life from the family of the Codrids, 
who, under the title of Archon, exercised 
royal functions, but without a distin- 
guishing title and rank. Heads of 
noble families who traced their origin 
from the heroes of past ages, and who 
inherited from their forefathers cither 
the conduct of martial affairs or certain 
religious institutions and sacrifices, com- 
posed his permanent council. The posi- 




tion of the lower classes, though they possessed no political power, and for the; 
most part no property, was — at least at first — not an entirely degraded one, 
partly because industry, temperance, trade, and commercial activity produced 
general prosperity, and partly because a certain gentleness and a respect for^ 
personal liberty were deeply ingrained in the Ionian character. Nowhere' 
else, according to the precepts of religion, were the fugitives and those under 
the protection of the hospitable Zeus more regarded by the laws than in 
Athens ; compassion here had its root in the disposition of the people, 
and its altar in the open market. The dominant families, the Eupatridse, stood 
in a spirit of paternal relation towards the labouring population. They 
had been divided from ancient times into four fraternities or Phylse ; those, 
namely, of the Geleontes or illustrious, the Hopletes or warriors, the Arga- 
deis or agriculturists, and the Qigikoreis or goat-herds. This method of 


division, which in the first instance designated a separation according to 
the original dwelling-places of the classes, probably retained the name of 
the occupations because these were influenced by the nature of the localities. 
A phyla was divided into three " brotherhoods " or phratria;, each of which 
again embraced thirty races, with a larger or smaller number of houses or 
families. To each of these land-owning families were apportioned a number of 
the common people, who were placed under its protection. Received into 
the religious community of the section, these people participated in all the 
rights connected with religion. There thus existed a relationship of piety 
between the Eupatridse and the " people." But envy, contention, and strife 
among the nobles, united with severity and unkindness towards their inferiors, 
in time disturbed the peaceful agreement between the classes, and made the 



111 )aternal rule of the " high-born lords " harsh and oppressive. The community 

1^ )f nobles had in the first instance confined the dignity of archon exclusively 

ej :o the family of Codros (B.C. 754), and conferred that dignity for life ; and 

01 vhen the forms of an aristocratic republic became more complete, they 

K jubsequently, in the year 714, limited the length of the archon's reign to 

;en years, and a short time afterwards made the office accessible to all the 

amilies of the nobility. Indeed, in order that many might partake of this 

lonour, it was at length arranged, in 6'^}^, that nine archons should be chosen 

jvery year, to preside over the departments of executive government, religion, 

ivar, the making of laws, and the administration of justice. 

This was the beginning of hard times for the citizens and peasantry. Not 
only did the nobility, who had now all the power in their own hands, exclude 
the people, or demos, from all participation in the government, the priesthood, 
and the administration of justice, but they violated more and more the old 
paternal relationship by selfishness and love of gain, and oppressed their 
inferiors with taxes and severe criminal laws. They alone dispensed justice 
in divine and human things, because they alone were acquainted with the 
unwritten decrees of justice, which depended only on tradition and custom ; 
and their administration of justice was sullied by oppression and tyranny, 
partiality and wrong. This perversion of justice in the interest of the higher 
class at last excited the Athenian people to demand the establishment of 
written laws, and to urge and maintain the request with such emphasis that 
the nobles found themselves at last compelled to comply. But they deter- 
mined to turn this request into an opportunity to bridle the aspiring popular 
feeling. About the year 620, they therefore commissioned one of their num- 
ber, the severe Dracon, with the drawing up of the laws. The rigour with 
'which this nobleman acquitted himself of his task, has become proverbial. It 
has been said of his laws, that they were written with blood. Every offence 
was visited with the punishment of death ; severity and fear appeared to him 
the only means of correction ; in lesser misdemeanours the stern lawgiver found 
no sufficient reason for mitigation of punishment. By this means the nobility 
hoped to bring back the discontented people to their former subjection ; but 
they were deceived. Violent contests arose, in which not only the peasants, 
vine-dressers, craftsmen, traders, and sailors banded themselves together against 
the Eupatrida}, but the latter also became involved among themselves in 
disputes and party strife, and weakened their strength. The old nobility, 
relying on custom and the letter of the law, were not content with oppressing 
the poor man by their avarice, and by severe criminal laws, and with filling 
the mortgaged fields with pledge stones ; but they excluded the new families, 
who had thriven and risen by trade and industry, from the class confederacy. 
Many persons, once free and wealthy, fell into debt, and into tributary de- 
' pendcnce on the wealthy, who despoiled them of house and lands ; mutiny, 
murder, theft, and lawlessness became more and more the terrible weapons of 
the helpless crowd. The breach of faith of the Alcmaeonids in 612, one of 
the great noble families, towards Kylon's party, sullied the honour and under- 
mined the authority of the whole class. Bad harvests and pestilences set in, 
and were interpreted by the excited people as signs of Divine anger at the 
desecration of their sanctuaries. 

Kylon, who belonged to an old family of Eupatrids, and had become 
celebrated as a victor at the Olympic games, took up the cause of the lower 
classes, and with the help of the tyrant Theagenes of Megara, his father-in- 
law, took possession of the citadel. But as the people, mistrusting his in- 




tentions, did not support him, the nobles, led on by the Alcmreonid Megacles 
succeeded in getting back the Acropolis, whereupon Kylon fled ; but accord- 
ing to the received tradition, his followers were massacred at the altars oi 
the gods, at which they had taken refuge. This sacrilege brought about the 
expulsion of the curse-laden Alcmseonids, and the reconciliation of the city 
through the seer Epimenides of Crete, who, on the request of Solon, quieted 
the minds of the people, re-established civil and religious order, and by 
various wholesome institutions, paved the way for the introduction of the 
laws of his friend. 

The state was hovering on the brink of destruction, when Solon, — one of the 
seven wise men who had assisted his native town to obtain possession of 
Salamis, and, as archon and Eupatrid of Codros' family, possessed the confi- 
dence of the nobility, and stood in high estimation both as a poet and a 
friend of the people, — saved the country by means of his new code of laws. 
This was in 593. 

Solon's code is a judicious mingling of aristocratic and democratic elements. 
For while he sought to lighten the yoke that weighed on the people by the so- 
called seisachthy, or removal of burdens, and assigned the chief power in the 
state and the power for making laws to the popular assembly, to which the 
council of the four hundred and also the judges or heliasts were responsible, 
he secured certain privileges and honours to the nobles, as the wealthier class, 
by the division of the people into four sections according to possession of land 
and contributions in taxes, retained for them the dignity of archon, and 
established the aristocratic Areiopagos, a venerable court of justice which held 
its sittings on the Hill of Ares, near the altars of the revered divinities of the 
Erinnyes or Eumenides, and which he constituted the guardian of the laws, 
constitution, and morals. Thus, without disregarding the solid foundations of 
subordination and discipline, Solon burst the fetters which until then had 
held the majority of the Athenian population in a state of political and 
judicial pupilage, and combined the reforms demanded by the spirit of the 
age with those ancient customs that had stood the test of experience. His 
code of laws consequently remained, amid all changes, the enduring founda- 
tion of the Attic commonwealth. 



Solon's Code of Laws. 



BY the scheme for lightening the 
people's burdens, the poor citi- 
zens were relieved of a portion of 
their debts through a lowering of the 
standard of coinage, which increased 
the value of existing ready money 
without altering the amount of debt 
as expressed in figures. The burden 
of payment on mortgaged land pro- 
perty was decreased. The customary 
law of personal slavery for debt, by 
which the creditor could make his in- 
solvent debtor his slave, was abolished, 
and all Athenians who were in bond- 
age for debt were set at liberty. 

To regulate the division of the com- 
munity into classes, a new standard or 
estimate was taken. The first class 
consisted of those men called the 
"five hundred measurers," or Penta- 
kosiomedimni, those who gathered 
500 medimni, or measures, from their own lands, in wet or dry produce (wine 
and oil, corn, etc.), and who acted as commanders in time of war ; the. second 
class was composed of the Hippii, or knights, those whose harvest amounted to 
300 measures, sufficient to furnish a war-horse for the master and another for 
the attendant soldier ; the third division included the team-holders (Zeugites), 
whose income reached 200 measures, who were able to^keep a team of mules, 
horses, or oxen, and served in the army as heavily-armed soldiers, under the 
name of Hopletes. The last and most numerous class consisted of the Thetes, 
or common people, who reaped less than 200 measures, or possessed no landed 
property, and who served as light-armed soldiers, or sailors, and were exempt 
from the payment of taxes. Only the first, second, and third classes were 
eligible for posts of honour and official positions, and for the great council ; the 
lowest, untaxed class was excluded from every office. The military service 
was adapted to this arrangement of classes. When a youth had been prepared 
by physical and martial exercises, and had reached his eighteenth year, he 
was raised by his parents and relations, and the authorities, to the rank of an 
armed man ; " he swore fidelity to his country, to his commanders, and to 
camp regulations ; he vowed never to disgrace his arms, and to resist the 
enemies of the constitution to the utmost." After two years' service under 
the guards of the frontier, he was entered into the register of those liable to 
service. No pay was given ; every one served at his own expense ; the public 
care of the wounded, and the solemn burial of the fallen, was the reward of 
the brave ; dishonour, as exemplified in the loss of civil rights and the 
exclusion from public sacrifice, was the punishment of the coward. 

The popular assembly exercised the legislative power, and controlled the 
government officials and judges, especially the nine archons ; they fixed 
the taxes, made the final decisions as to war and peace, etc. The annually 
elected council of the four hundred managed the affairs of the administration 
and the finances by means of a committee, called Prytanes, and condncted 

1 80 



the deliberations of the popular assembly and intercourse with foreign 
countries ; while, for judicial transactions, a committee of jurats was chosen 
from 6000 men sworn in by the archons, who presided also at law-suits. 

The Areiopagos — an honourable council, whose members consisted of the 
most venerable citizens, chosen for life, principally archons who had been 
wise administrators — had the power of inflicting the punishment of death in 
cases of murder, incendiarism, poisoning, and other grievous crimes. But it 
derived its chief importance from the function given it by Solon, namely, the 
supervision of morals. It watched over the education of youth, and con- 
trolled the conduct of the citizens, so that order and morality were regarded, 
an honourable and industrious career pursued by every citizen, and luxury, 


^ JlT^jJIUi-^il^J 

^Mjfelt;t^ _ ^ 

' — niiiiEi 


fine apparel, and licentious habits proscribed. Of the statutes of Drakon, Solon 
only retained the laws relating to murder and manslaughter, and the court of 
the Spheta;, or court of appeal ; for here Drakon himself had only perpetuated 
old rights, made sacred by religion and custom, and accordingly they remained 
untouched through all changes. Solon also retained the primitive division of 
the Athenian people into phylae, phratrize, and races, and thus preserved the 
last surviving remains of ancient piety and of clanship among the people. To 
this confraternity of race and family was entrusted the supervision over purity 
of descent and the legitimacy of each claim of citizenship. Consequently 
every newly-married woman was introduced into the fraternity to which her 

1 82 


husband belonged ; and every newly-born child was entered in the register ot 
the family. Only in this way was it possible to obtain full rights of citizen- 
ship. The phratrise and families also served as the point of union for the 
worship of the gods of the race. 

As hitherto, the nine archons continued, under Solon's constitution, to 
preside over the administration of the government and of civil justice, only 
they were now elected by all the citizens collectively, and were responsible to 
the national assembly. The principal, or first archon, after whom the year 
was named, gave judgment in cases of divorce, marriage, and orphanage, and 
as a peaceful arbitrator or umpire settled the differences between neighbours, 






and maintained a kind of censorship of morals. The archon-king, the 
superintendent of the mysteries^, and, as it were, successor of the old hereditary 
priest-kings, presided at the public sacrifices and at religious festivals ; decided 
all complaints of criminality and violation of church rites ; initiated trials for 
murder for the Areiopagos, and even pronounced penal sentences on inanimate 
objects that had wounded or killed a man. The archon-commander, besides 
the chief direction of military matters, and the command of the army, had 
the office of deciding disputes between foreigners and citizens ; the six 
" guardians of the law " (thesmothetae) were to settle all quarrels that did 
not fall within the province of their coadjutors, and to protect constitutional 
rights and customs against all contradiction and attack. 


1 8:, 

When Solon had completed his code of laws, he made the Athenians swear 
Ithat they would change nothing therein for the space of ten years, and then 
[started off on journeyings to Egypt, Cyprus, and Asia Minor, where he had 
la meeting at Sardes with Croesus, who questioned the distinguished stranger 
las to divine and human things. Fresh disturbances in his native town, 
however, soon recalled him to Athens, where he spent the evening of his life ; 
for in his opinion, any one who remained neutral during civil commotions, 
ought to be declared dishonoured. His powers of mind and character 
continued unimpaired even in his old age. Solon penetrated the ambitious 
designs ot the party chiefs, especially of his relative, Pisistratos, and with 
paternal earnestness warned the people in poems and discourses against the 
" great men " who threatened to endanger the commonwealth ; he inveighed 
against the recently introduced dramatic art, which, he declared, perverted true 
patriotic feeling by a false show ; and admonished the civil assembly which had 
conferred a body-guard on the chief democrat, with the angry words : " Not 
to the gods, but to your own cowardice, ascribe the evil that shall come upon 
you ! " As his patriotic admonitions had no effect on his fellow-citizens, and 
Pisistratos continued to increase in authority, he turned away, vexed and 
disheartened, from the ungrateful people. Surrounded by a circle of friends, 
old and young, he spent the remainder of his days in the quietude of his own 
home, constantly endeavouring to enlarge his range of knowledge, until death 
summoned him away in the eightieth year of his age. The activity excited 
by Solon's democratic institutions raised the Athenian people to a height of 
culture and variety of intellectual development, of which rude Sparta, 
governed by its aristocratic nobility, presented no trace whatever. 



The Origin of the Tyrants. — Establishment of their Power. — 
Endeavours of the Oligarchs to Overthrow them. — Their 
Overthrow by the Help of the Spartans. — Periander, 


The Argathorides in Sicyon. — Procles in Epidaurus and 
Theagenes in Megara. — The Island of Lesbos. — Ionian Towns 
and Islands of Asia Minor. — Samos. — Despotism of Polycrates. 
— His Alliance with Amasis of Egypt. — Story of the Ring 
of Polycrates. — His Miserable Death through the Persian 
Governor Orcetes. 

" The tyrant of the Chersonese 
Was freedom's best and bravest friend — ■ 
That tyrant was Miltiades." — Byron. 

BY this time the privileged noble {amilies 
had abolished royalty, and had established 
a republican aristocratic government in nearly 
all the Greek states. But usually in time this 
became an oppressive oligarchy ; consequently, 
so soon as the j>eople, who were excluded from 
all share in the government, attained to a con- 
sciousness of their condition and their rights, 
they resisted the domination of the privileged 
families. As the latter, however, were the sole 
possessors of weapons and of martial skill, the 
democrats, as a rule, only obtained the advan- 
tage when an ambitious, wealthy noble separated 
himself from his class associates, placed him- 
self at the head of the people, seized the citadel, 
and overthrew the aristocratic government. 
Surrounded by an armed band of faithful adherents, such a popular leader, 
or, as he was called. Demagogue, could easily obtain the sovereignty, as the 
people, in recognition of his assistance against the oligarchies, frequently 

aided him in his endeavour, and were at first satisfied Avith easily procured 



^il!«^fF^-; ^5V,•:^^:} 

F '''S' 


ii'',i I-, '■':, 

; '.:;■-• N ,.^i||; "; slljt^ai:! te- ^ •«» 


a;::i ,:"i:;fi'!iM:;itt;ii\;,:ii':.!,'.,:.i,,ii:ii;ii!, ■'■' !::s'.i'"''i,; 


1 86 


benefits, such as grants of portions of land, the remission of debts, the 
recognition of mixed marriages, and general equaHty before the law. 

Thus it came about, that in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., monarchical 
governments were established in most of the Greek towns, and the rulers 
were designated as tyrants, an appellation which at first only signified 


"governor," or "commander," with the accompanying idea of unauthorized 
acquisition of sway, or usurpation ; in contradistinction to the ^symnetes, 
who, in troublous times, were sometimes invested with extraordinary power 
by the Council and people. But in the time of developed democracy, as 
such irresponsible power appeared shameful, the idea of cruel, violent, coercive 



!ie rule was always attached to the name of a tyrant. Many of these tyrants 
possessed great capacity for government, and enjoyed brilliant reigns ; but 
the reproach of extortion, violence, and oppressive taxation lies like a " dark 
shadow " on their memory. In order to employ the people, to whom they 
owed their elevation, they caused magnificent buildings to be erected. Their 
wealth afforded them the means of drawing round them artists, poets, and 
philosophers, whose creative powers they incited. The maintenance of 
splendid courts also helped to increase the prosperity of the towns. But the 
government of the tyrants was of short duration, notwithstanding that several 
of them endeavoured to secure their power by hospitality, by alliances with 
each other, and treaties and contracts with 



The oligarchs 


sought in every way to overthrow them, and in these attempts were supported 
by the Spartans, who always rendered assistance to aristocratic constitutions. 
The sons, also, who had succeeded to the government, frequently forgot in 
what fashion their fathers had obtained it, omitted to preserve the considera- 
tion due to the people, and became oppressors and despots. This it was that 
brought about their overthrow ; for which purpose the people united with the 
nobles for a short time, but only in order to establish a complete democracy 
after the expulsion of the tyrants. Among the despotic rulers of this period, 
those specially prominent are the Kypselides of Corinth, the Orthagorides 
of Sicyon, Theagenes of Megara ; and in the islands of the Grecian gulf, 
Pittacus, the controller or .^symnetes of Lesbos, and Polycrates of Samos, 

Periander, Pittacus, Polycrates, 



N the middle of the 7th century Kypselus 
(655-625) rose up against the Dorian Bac- 
chiades at Corinth. He was descended on the 
mother's side from the Bacchiades ; but escaped 
with difficulty from the snares of this distrustful 
and suspicious noble family, by the stratagem 
of his mother, who concealed him in a chest, 
whence the tradition of " the chest of Kypselus." 
When he grew up he killed the powerful Prytanean 
Hippokleides, and seized the chief power in 
Corinth. He maintained a splendid court, de- 
corated the town with splendid buildings, and 
enriched the shrines of Olympia and Delphi with 
costly gifts, for which he procured the means 
through the banishment of many aristocratic chiefs 
and the confiscation of their property. He gave a 
great impetus to Corinthian trade by the establishment of colonial towns, such 
as Ambracia, Leucas, and Anactorium, to which he sent the poorer citizens as 
colonists. Periander was the worthy successor of his father {625-585). Far 
surpassing Kypselus in comprehensive statesmanship, general culture, liberal 
policy, and bold enterprise, Periander won for himself and his native town 
a commanding position in the Hellenic world. His ships ruled the yEgean 
Sea ; at Potidzea in Thrace, he established a centre for Corinthian navigation 
and industry, and reduced rebellious Corcyra to its old state of dependence. 
He at the same time increased his own influence and the splendour of his 
court by alliances with foreign princes such as the Lydian King Alyattes, and 




others. But, surrounded by a powerful band of mercenary soldiers in his 
strong fortress, he exercised an oppressive despotism, and burdened the citi- 
zens with heavy taxes. He jealously watched over all meetings of citizens, 
lest covert designs and conspiracies should be discussed ; his suspicion even 
extended to private and family life. Nevertheless Periander promoted and 
encouraged art and poetry. He is especially celebrated for his friendly re- 
lations with Arion, the bard of Lesbos, who, at the solemn festival of Diony- 
sius, whose worship Periander favoured before all others, gave performances 
of his lofty and sublime choral songs, with exciting melodies and artistic 
(lances. This legend antiquity has related concerning him : — In order to 
display his art in a wider sphere, Arion travelled through Italy and Sicily, 
and with the gifts he had received, set out on his return voyage to Corinth, 
irom Tarentum. During the passage, however, the sailors, hankering after his 
riches, formed the design of throwing him into the sea. In vain Arion offered 
them all his treasures as a ransom for his life ; they dreaded the wrath of 
Periander if the wicked project should be discovered. When Arion found that 
there was no way of deliverance for him, he once more poured forth a song 
to the sounding of his stringed instrument, and then, in the festive attire of a 
i bard, sprang into the waves. But the melodious sounds had attracted some 
dolphins ; one of them offered his back to the singer, and bore him to the 
shore, whence he at once hastened to Corinth and related to his friend the 
story of his danger and of his marvellous rescue. Thereupon Periander caused 
the first sailors who entered the harbour to be brought before him, and in- 
quired for Arion. "We left him in safety and prosperity at Tarentum," was 
the reply. Then Arion suddenly stepped before them, exactly as he had 
sprung into the sea. Confounded at the sight, the sailors acknowledged their 
guilt, and suffered the merited punishment. 

Domestic trouble darkened the latter years of the prince's life. In an out- 
burst of raging anger, he had killed his wife Melissa, who had borne him two 
sons ; and he drove from him his son Lycophron, who, indignant at the crime, 
provoked him by reproaches, defiance, and scorn. Lycophron was subse- 
quently put to death by the Corcyreans. Periander, however, avenged the 
death of his son, whom he had always loved ; and then, bowed down with 
grief, sank into his grave. His nephew Psammetichus succeeded to his 
dominion, which he however lost through a conspiracy in the fourth year of 
his reign. The expelled nobles then returned, re-established the Doric 
constitution in a milder form, and revenged themselves on the followers of 
Kypsclus by the destruction of the whole family. 

The Arthagorides in Sicyon. In the year 665, Orthagoras, of the old 
Ionian tribe of the ^gialians, wrested the power in Sicyon from the Doric 
nobles, and bequeathed it to his successors, of whom Myron (born about 665) 
and Cleisthenes (600-565) were the most- remarkable. The powerful, splen- 
dour-loving, and artistic Cleisthenes took part in the holy war against Crissa 
in conjunction with Athens and the Alenadae of Thessaly ; and he applied the 
spoil to the extension and glorifying of the Pythian games. He abolished 
the order of classes in the town, by bestowing or giving the Phyla or tribe of 
the ^gialeis the position of a privileged class, and depriving the Doric tribes 
of their rights. Long after his time the story was still told in Greece, of the 
bride-wooing in Sicyon, and of the splendid festival at which Cleisthenes 
selected Megacles as the husband of his daughter Agarista from among twelve 
wooers of the Alcmaeonids. Soon afterwards the prince died without a 
successor; but he had gained such respect by his gentleness and justice, that 


his laws and regulations continued for a long period to be held in veneration. 
Subsequently, however, the Dorian nobility obtained the chief power in the 

The despotisms of Procles in Epidaurus, about the year 600, and ot 
Theagenes in Megara, about 625, lasted a shorter time. Procles died a prisoner 
in the hands of his son-in-law Periander. Theagenes wrested the government 
of Megara from the Doric families. Like the other tyrants, he endeavoured to 
raise his small kingdom to importance by the promotion of trade and industry. 
Nevertheless the war with Athens, in which he became involved through the 
acquisition of the island of Salamis, was not ended before the noble families 
succeeded in driving out the tyrant. The dominating nobility, who now lost 
Salamis once more to Athens, established an oppressive aristocratic govern- 
ment, and there arose long and bitter strife with the popular party, which 
robbed the state of its influence, importance, and concord, and brought it 
under the Spartan hegemony. We learn of these fierce combats of the 
factions through the poet Theognis. 

In the 7th century the island of Lesbos, rich in wine and rich in song, 
was under the dominion of the noble families, until Pittacus was chosen 
general and governor, or ^somnete, and restored order and strength to 
his distracted country. This wise ruler died in 569. The aristocrats, who 
sought to restrict the wise man in his patriotic efforts, were compelled, like 
the poet Alcc-eus, to quit the country. After Pittacus had accomplished his 
work of pacification, and had recalled the banished citizens by a general 
amnesty, he voluntarily renounced the government in the year 580, and in 
its great prosperity Lesbos manifested the effects of his benevolent activity. 

In the Ionian towns and the islands of Asia Minor the government was 
maintained in a similar manner. The old aristocratic families reigned in 
Miletus, until Thrasybulus obtained the power, in the second half of the 
seventh century, and protected his town successfully against the kings of 
Sardis. After his death terrible combats and struggles between the aristocracy 
and the people, or Demos, broke out in the unfortunate town, until, by a 
sentence of arbitration of the Parians, tranquillity was restored to the distracted 

In the island of Samos, the ruling aristocracy had obtained power and 
wealth by navigation and trading enterprises, as testified by the magnifi- 
cent temple of Here, and the great waterworks. The seafaring population 
entered into a conspiracy against the nobility, in consequence of which the 
people obtained the chief power in 565. Then arose frantic struggles and 
commotions, which so weakened the island, that in 536 it succumbed help- 
lessly to the despotism of Polycrates, who secured himself against his enemies 
by troops of mercenaries, and by alliances with Amasis of Egypt, and 
Lygdamis of Naxos. Liberal and yet rapacious, energetic, sensual, and always 
exclusively occupied with his own advantage, Polycrates was the very model 
of a Greek tyrant ; he united at his splendid court Oriental magnificence with 
Greek art. One of the most famous legends of that period tells the story of 
the " Ring of Polycrates." The wealthy and powerful ruler of Samos suc- 
ceeded in eveiything which he undertook. Wheresoever he went in warfare, 
says Herodotos, he was successful. He possessed a hundred galleys of fifty 
oars, and maintained a guard of a thousand archers ; with these he overcame 
all his enemies, conquering the Lesbians in a sea fight^ and subduing many 
towns and islands. His ally and guest, Amasis of Egypt, became anxious at 
this abnormal prosperity ; he warned him in a letter of the fickleness of 





fortune and the envy of the gods, and counselled him to divest himself volun- 
tarily of the most precious thing that he possessed, in order to prepare a 
sorrow for himself, and thus propitiate the heavenly powers. Thereupon 
Polycrates threw into the depths of the sea a beautiful and costly signet ring 
of emeralds set in gold, the work of Theodorus of Samos, which he valued 
liighly. But the gods rejected his offering. A few days afterwards, a fisher- 
man brought a large fish which he had caught, as a present to the ruler ; and 
when this fish was opened, the ring was found within it. When Amasis heard 
this news, he feared that Polycrates would have an evil fate, and announced 
to him that their companionship must cease, that he might not subsequently 
have to lament the fall of a friend. And misfortune befell Polycrates soon 
enough. Avarice was the snare in which the cunning tyrant was caught to 
his destruction. The Persian governor Orostes lured him to Magnesia by 
false representations, and then crucified him. After this the Persians gave 
up the island, devastated and impoverished, to Syloson, Polycrates' youngest 








The Government of Pisistratus (Peisistratos) 
THE Tyrant.— HippiAS and Hipparchus.— 
Completion of the Athenian Democracy. 
— The Various Councils. — Heliasts. — Dis- 
tinguished Citizens. — Power and Pros- 
perity OF Athens. — Character of the 
Athenian People. — Hellenic Culture and 
Literature, Lyric Poetry. — Schools of 
Philosophy ; the Ionian, the Eleatic, etc. 
— Oldest Historic Writings of the Greeks. 

PISISTRATUS, a wealthy nobleman, who in- 
herited from the warrior chief Nestor, the 
ancestor of his family, his knightly courage, kindly 
disposition, and insinuating oratory, had placed 
himself, even during Solon's lifetime, at the head of 
the popular party ; and with the help of the faithful 
Diacrians and sturdy peasants of the mountainous 
district where he had rich possessions, he soon ob- 







tained the upper hand over his enemies, — Megacles, the Alcmaeonid, the leader 
of the Paralians, the traders and sailors, and Miltiades and Lycurgus, the chiefsi 
of the Pediseans, the aristocratic owners of the soil. 

After he had obtained for himself, through a stratagem, a body-guard; 
of fifty club-bearers, in spite of the warnings of Solon, — for he inflicted 
wounds on himself, and then declared that his enemies were attempting his 
life, — he gained possession of the citadel. At Solon's death, Pisistratus was 
lord and ruler of the town, but allowed the laws and constitution of Solon to 
remain in force. But before he could firmly establish his power, his adver- 
saries, Megacles and Lycurgus, succeeded in expelling him. Then his oppo- 
nents quickly fell to quarrelling among themselves ; and he returned with the |iie 
aid of the same Megacles, by means of a deception, in which it was given 
out that Pallas Athene herself was escorting her favourite back to Athens. 
This was in 550. As he was soon, however, once more at strife with Megacles, Ago 
to whose daughter he was married, the two parties who now united against 
him succeeded in expelling him once more in the next year, 549. He 
then betook himself to Euboean Eretria, and, with his eye fixed on Athens, 
busied himself in collecting money, troops, and ships, and in making alliances, 
especially with Lygdamis of Naxos. When he considered himself sufficiently 
powerful he returned, in 538, to the continent, vanquished his enemies near 
Pallene, and became for the third time the master of Athens. His opponents 
had for the most part fallen or fled ; and he protected himself against those 
who remained, by hostages, and by a strong body-guard of mercenaries. 

All the actions of the tyrant, after his government was firmly established, 
bore the stamp of a great mind, which united the wisdom of the statesman 
with the courage of the commander. Trade, industry, and agriculture pros- j 
pered greatly during his reign. Many a desolate and treeless field was | 
planted with olive-trees at the expense of the state. He also established small 
peasant properties, and encouraged the people to settle upon them. His 
treasures, which he had increased by the appropriation of the silver mines of 
Laurium, he devoted to the promotion of art and the adornment of Athens ; 
statues of Hermes, with maxims and axioms inscribed thereon, beautified 
streets and public places ; magnificent aqueducts carried the clear drinking 
water to the town, and the strong foundation walls of the temple of the 
Olympian Zeus were erected. He celebrated the worship of Pallas Athene, 
his especial tutelary goddess. The Pan-athensean feasts were appointed to be 
held with great splendour every four years, with all kinds of contests, and the 
recitation of the Homeric poems, which he was at great pains to recover in 
their true form. In the temple of Athene in the citadel was deposited the 
book of oracles of Onomacritus, which the latter had collected from the sup- 
posed works of the priestly poet Musaeus. The national festivals of Dionysos 
with their contests, processions, and dramatic representations, from which the 
dramatic poetry of the Greeks was gradually developed, also found a protector 
in Pisistratus. In art and religion, in foreign policy and internal government, 
he pointed out the way by which Athens might attain to power and fame ; 
and before at last, in 527, he sank into his grave, he could look back with pride 
on his work. 

His sons Hippias and Hipparchus at first followed in their father's course. 
They invited the most celebrated poets, Lasus of Hermione, Simonides of 
Ceos, and Anacreon of Teos to their court ; but they lacked the moderation 
and prudence of their father. When Hipparchus, who was of a gentle 
temperament, but addicted to self-indulgence and luxury, was killed, out 


>f revenge for some offence, by the two Athenian friends, Harmodius and 
Vristogeiton, at the great festival of the Pan-athensea in 514, Hippias gave 
ree vent to his violent and imperious temper. He took cruel revenge on the 
:onspirators, — who at a later period were extolled by the Athenians as liber- 
iting heroes and as murderers of a tyrant, — and alienated the hearts of the 
)eople by severity and by oppressive taxation. Thereupon the numerous 
xpelled families of the nobility, especially the Alcmaeonids, who had obtained 
;he favour of the Pythian priesthood and the gratitude of all Hellas by the 
rection of the magnificent temple of Delphi, succeeded, with the help of the 
rSpartans, in driving away the tyrant, after a spirited opposition. Near Pallene, 

Ivhere his father had won the sovereignty, the son was defeated. He with- 
Irew into the fortress, and only surrendered it when his children fell into the 
lands of the enemy. He then fled to Asia Minor in order to obtain assist- 
mce from Persia to aid in his restoration. This was in 510. 

Completion of the Athenian Democracy. — The Oligarchists had vainly hoped 
hat with the help of the Lacedaemonians they might once more obtain 
he mastery of Athens. In 509, under the direction of the Alcmaeonid 
, 31eisthenes, a talented nobleman of active mind and vigorous hand, the con- 
stitution of Solon was divested of its aristocratic character, and a complete 
democracy was established. 

The four ancient tribal unions, or Phylae, from which the four hundred 
members of the Council had been till then chosen, — the preference being given 
to the aristocratic land-owners, — were dissolved, and thus the old bonds of 
nity in tribes and families were completely broken. In the place of the old 
rrangement, there arose ten new Phylse or classes, each possessing ten 
|Demes or country districts, lying separate from each other; — a geographical 
and political division into parishes and districts, v/ith complete equality of all 
the citizens, and with new names and tutelary deities. Two Demes composed 
a Naucracy, each of which had to fit out and man a rowing vessel (first 
one of fifty oars, then a triera or three-decker), and to provide an Ephete for 
the court of criminal justice of the Archon king. 

The Council of the Five Hundred was chosen annually from among the 

i'Phyla;, fifty members being selected from every circle, without regard to 

iiposition or property. Fifty of these members formed the ruling committee 

i;Or Prytanean court ; and during the six-and-thirty days of their session, dwelt 

in the Prytanseum, and were provisioned at the public expense. Each of the 

ten Phylae held the Prj^tanean court in turn ; and at every change, as a rule, 

a national assembly was ordered. 

Six thousand citizens were also drawn by lottery annually from the ten 
circles, five hundred from every tribe, together with ten thousand substitutes, 
who acted as judges or Heliasts in the national courts of justice called Heliae. 
The Heliasts were as a rule divided into ten dicasteria, or sections of five 
hundred, each with one hundred extra men or substitutes, who, — instructed by 
tablets as to the different courts of justice to which they belonged, — delivered 
v^erdict and judgment on the various plaints which were brought there for 
settlement. By means of these constitutional reforms, the position of Archon, 
which was still reserved for the first class of tax-payers, became more and 
more reduced to the condition of an honorary title. The power of the two 
first Archons was limited to the control of the festivals, and certain decisions 
in family matters and questions of inheritance ; the third, the Polemarchus, 
had to share his authority with the ten Strateges, who were chosen annually, 
while the six Thesmothetes sank to the position of judges of instruction to 



the dicasteria of the common courts or Heliae. These new arrangements al 
necessarily involved the lessening of the power of the Areopagus. At t 
same time Cleisthenes caused a number of artisans and workpeople, who hadfi' 
hitherto lived in Attica as protected people or freedmen, but excluded from 
the civil union, to be enrolled among the tribes and admitted to equal rights 
and equal duties among the citizens. Thus the law reforms of Cleisthenes 
laid the foundation of the self-government of the Athenian people. Every 
citizen who had passed his thirtieth year might speak and vote in the national 
assembly, and serve as a judge at the sittings of the Hehaea ; and if any one,' 
through superior power, influence, or authority, appeared likely to endanger 
the civil equality and to injure the democratic character of the constitution, 
he could be removed for a time by means of the system, now introduced, of ^^^ 
ostracism or the vote by sherds, — the moral sentence of the self-governing' '^k 
people on, a single citizen in his relation to the general safety and welfare, 


^ leit 




Many of the most distinguished men of the succeeding ages, Aristides, The- 
mistocles, Cymon, and others, had to undergo this banishment, the severity of 
which was mitigated by the circumstance that the subject of it obtained great 
importance thereby, and remained undisturbed in his honours, rights, and 
property. But at the time of the Peloponnesian war, on account of a cabal 
between Alcibiades and Nicias, an insignificant, contemptible demagogue, 
named Hyperbolus, was ostracized, instead of one of the two party leaders ; 
and the Athenians with wise tact abolished the whole institution ; for it was 



3w no longer an honour and mark of recognition to be ostracized, but a 
isgrace. In vain the nobles under the leadership of Isagoras, and with the 
elp of the Spartans, endeavoured to overthrow the democracy ; the people 
ad arrived at the consciousness and knowledge of their power and liberty 
id successfully combated every attack. Isagoras followed his host, Cleo- 
lenes of Sparta, to- whom he had surrendered the Athenian citadel, to the 

The Attic nation now availed itself with eagerness of every opportunity 
) exert its newly-acquired power both far and near ; and in a successful war 
ith Bceotia and Chalcis, and spirited contests with ^Egina, it obtained that 
onsciousness of its strength, by means of which shortly afterwards it was 
nabled successfully to undergo its ordeal of fire on the battlefield of 
larathon ; " a victory which was of decisive importance, not less for the 
trengthening of democracy at home than for the outward independence of 
Lthens." Herodotus gives it as his opinion that everywhere social equality 
lowed its beneficial results. Under the rule of their princes the Athenians 
rere not superior in battle to their neighbours ; as free men they soon be- 
ame the first. From this it is obvious that under control they acted but 
inguidly, because their exertions were for the benefit of a master ; while in 
reedom each one was doing his best for himself These great benefits were 
ttributed by the Athenians to Harmodius and Aristogiton. They honoured 
hese men as the liberators of the city by the erection of bronze statues, and 
estowed the highest privileges on their descendants ; and for a long time it 
iras the custom for men to sing at their repasts : " I will carry my battle- 
word in myrtle green, like Harmodius and Aristogiton, when they slew the 
yrants and founded the justice and equality of Athens." 

Under such conditions it is therefore not surprising to see Aristides, one 
)f the purest characters known to history, putting the coping stone on the 
rection of absolute democracy by throwing open the path to the office of 
\rchon, and to the other state dignities, to every citizen, without reference to 

|)irth or class. It is to be remembered, he did this for a race in which all had 
hown themselves equally worthy to reign by an equal interest in the welfare 
>f the whole through equal obedience to the laws, and through equal sacrifices 
or the common good. The natural talents of the Athenian people, combined 
vith the publicity of the government and the various opportunities for obtain- 
ng knowledge, brought about such general culture among the free-born 
Athenians, that even the appointment by lottery to many government posts, 
ivhich originated after the Persian wars, had not the disadvantages which 
iirose from a similar arrangement in other states. 

This democracy, developed in the most logical manner by the Athenians, 
lasted, with the exception of a few interruptions, for a period of two hundred 
/■ears ; for it was not merely an actual but a legally established constitution, 
n which the people themselves had impressed the stamp of legality by their 
eturn to the laws of Solon. This consciousness of the Athenian people, that 
ts government was the rule of laws and depended chiefly upon their in- 
/■iolability, for a long time kept at least the letter of the law safe from 
Dopular licence. Then came the timid religious feeling that dared not touch 
mything which was sanctified by antiquity and tradition ; and when even, at 
I later period, the turbulence of the community despised those limits, the name 
)f freedom was never abused to give up the dignity of the laws, and those who. 
idministered them, to the unbridled will of one man.. 




Hellenic Culture and Literature, 


YRIC POETR Y. — Not merely in the government and 
civil relations, but also in poetic art the new state of 

things, with its more animated life, its more magnificent 
religious festivals, produced fresh forms in poetry also, with 
new aims and purposes. The solemn epic poetry of the 
heroic age of kings, with its measured, equal, broad-flowing 
hexameter, no longer sufficed to express the excited feel- 
ings which took possession of the popular mind in conse- 
quence of party strife and civil disturbances ; nor was it 
sufficient to portray the active, busy existence which throve 
and flourished by trade and by colonial enterprise. 
Only at the great and solemn religious festivals the people 
had leisure to listen attentively to the recitations of the wandering singers, 
and therefore the performances of the rhapsodists were relegated to these 
occasions. For the events of the day, for the combats and pleasures of thei 
present, they needed poets who lived in the midst of active life, and who 
followed practical aims, and who shared in the joys and sorrows, the emotions 
and struggles, the interests and actions of the younger part of the community, 
and generally of the living, breathing humanity around them. Thus arose 
the new lyric poetry, which was not confined, like the older form, to reli- 
gious hymns and supplications to the gods, but rather embraced within its I 
sphere the phenomena of each day, served every aim of life, gave tone and 
words to every feeling and desire, roused and excited -all slumbering emo- 
tions, and invested the whole inward life in its rich variety with form and 
expression. Sometimes the lyre became the weapon and trumpet of war, 
which, in the hands of a Callinus or a Tyrtaeus, inspired the hearer to martial 
combat and heroic deeds. Sometimes, as with Solon and Theognis, the 
poet's work was the vehicle for diffusing various views of life, political 
opinions, and party aims. In the hands of Archilochus and Hippomax, lyric 



iambics became sharp-pointed arrows against personal enemies, while with 
Mimnermus and Alcffius poetry sometimes breathed martial ardour and love 
of war ; sometimes, as with the poetess Sappho, ardent love and a lively 
enjoyment of life. Anacreon was considered by the whole of the ancient 
world as the poet of love, wine, and every pleasure of the senses. After 
music had been developed by Terpander, and to the grave and solemn 
cithara had been allied the inspiriting tones of the flute, choral singing was 
introduced by Alcman and Stesichorus at the religious festivals ; and Pindar 
brought this form to perfection in his noble songs of victory, while his 
contemporary, Simonides, attained the highest fame by his ingenious maxims 
and epigrams. Through these efforts, the lyric form and versification, which 
in the elegiac distiches still adhered closely to the heroic hexameter, became 
more varied and vigorous until it attained its highest perfection in the 
choruses in strophes accompanied by mythical movements. This progress 
of lyric poetry led necessarily to the artistic development of music and 
dancing ; for the custom of the Greeks of celebrating their religious festivals 

POLYPHEMUS AND ULYSSES. Scene from Homer's Odyssey, after Flaxman. 

with choruses and rhythmic dances of youths and maidens, caused both arts 
to become most intimately associated ; and as the lyric form and metre 
constantly grew more varied and artistic, so the choral dances also gradually 
attained to a higher perfection, from the first measuerd march round the 
flaming altar to the mimic war dances, the Pyrrhic dances in which the 
actions of the heroes and gods were portrayed. 

The great importance, however, attributed by the ancients to music, as 
well for its elevating and inspiriting quality as the moral and refining in- 
fluence connected with it, — for which reason it was recommended by the 
Grecian law-givers as a means of ennobling the character, — ^justifies the 
conclusion that the Hellenes attained in this art also to a high degree of 
excellence, though we know but little of the particulars of their musical art. 
Competitions in singing and music formed an essential part of the education 
of the young both in Sparta and Athens. 

The most ancient Grecian Philosophy. — When human consciousness awakens, 


the soul begins to work itself into condition of consciousness from the 
mingled and tangled impressions and imaginations wherewith it is filled ; 
and this consciousness, or appreciation of the condition of things, is the be- 
ginning of the process of philosophizing, by means of which man endeavours 
to attain to a clear understanding concerning both the things and conditions 
outside himself and the emotions and feelings within himself At this 
awakening, the human mind first turned to the external world of phenomena, 
and tested its youthful powers in the investigation of nature. While, how- 
ever, the contemplative Oriental had all his thoughts and contemplations 
absorbed in nature, — to which his religion was essentially attached, and from 
which his mind could not separate itself to act as an independent agent, — 
the more energetic Hellene raised himself above nature, and sought to pene- 
trate and dominate it. 

The oldest philosophy of the Greeks is therefore natural philosophy ; for 
their endeavour was directed towards the understanding of the unity in the 
manifoldness of the outward world, and of the stability that endures amid 
continual change. Thus, two systems of philosophy showed itself in two 
directions : the physical method of contemplation of the Ionian philosophy, 
which looked at the world in its outward appearance, and sought to com- 
prehend the original cause of all things ; and the ethical method of the 
Doric-Pythagorean school in southern Italy, which desired to discover the 
internal causes of the development of the world, " how law and harmony were 
hidden in the world, with control of the evil and of the good." 

With the Eleatics, — of Elea in Southern Italy, — philosophical inquiry took 
a third direction, which established the idea of existence and of unity as the 
highest principle, and regarded God and the world as one. While the two 
former systems developed the physical and ethical aspects of philosophy, the 
Eleatic formed the dialectic or logical side. Like epic and lyric poetry, 
philosophy had its origin in Ionia, but in a time when freedom was declining. 
Sorrowing over the increasing political perplexities of their country, which 
gradually brought the sinking states under the Persian rule, these " sages of 
nature " took refuge in the world of thought ; and created, from contempla- 
tions of the eternal renewal and decay of the world of matter, a sorrowful 
resignation to the course of natural events, which they explained as depend- 
ing on natural necessity. 

TJie Ionian School of Philosophy undertook the task of explaining the 
phenomena of nature from the powers and peculiarities of matter itself, and 
of concentrating all experiences and observations in certain great results as 
to the nature of things. In doing this, it followed two separate paths : the 
dynamic, in which the existence of a single original matter was assumed, by 
whose greater density or tenuity the outward world was formed and de- 
veloped, so that what appeared in nature was to be explained by an alteration 
in this original matter ; and the mechanic path, in which all things were con- 
sidered as contained in a lasting original matter, and as being formed by a 
separation and concentration of the material, so that no particular formation, 
no change of the nature of things was assumed, but everything was to be 
explained by alterations oT the outward conditions of space. To the first 
school belong : Thales, who declared water to be the original material or 
principle of creation ; Anaximes and Diogenes of Apollonia, who assigned 
that position to air ; Heraclitus, who pronounced fire to be the active prin- 
ciple ; and Pherecydes, who set up the ether and the earth as the first causes. 
To the other belong Democritus, Leucippus, and Anaxagoras, who regarded 


the world as arising from a combination of simple, indivisible ingredients, 
which the two first designated as atoms, the latter homoeomeries. 

TJie PytJiagorean ScJiool. — The Pythagorean philosophy, — a system of teach- 
ing which embraced equally the world, man, and government, — derived its 
leading principles from its founder, Pythagoras, who lived from 580 to 500. 
He was the first to exchange the title of " wise man," sopJios, for that of" friend 
of w'lsdovci," philosophos, and was regarded with the highest veneration through- 
out the ancient world as the founder of the Pythagorean Brotherhood, the 
originator of the mathematical rule named after him, and a very prominent 
moral and political personality ; but the development of his teaching is to be 
ascribed to his pupils. The Pythagoreans traced back everything to number 
and measure, for they suspected that a deep mystery existed in figures and 
numbers. They put forth their teaching in mathematical forms, for " they 
recognised the nature of things in the relation of numbers to each other, and 
explained the origin of things from the combinations of numbers." The world 
to them appeared a harmoniously ordered whole, consisting of ten spheres, 
which revolved in regular order round the centre, or unity — namely, God, the 
source of all perfection. In the form of the central fire Unity is also with 
them the principle of warmth and life, that penetrates all existing things ; for 
which reason also the stars, gods, spirits, men, and animals are all placed 
by them in a certain relationship with God. The human soul is regarded by 
them as an emanation from the central fire, or divinity. They consider that 
after the death of the body it has to pass through and animate various lower 
beings to obtain purification, until it is allowed once more to return into a 
human body. The task to be achieved by a moral life, is harmonious unity, 
which can be most surely attained by striving for wisdom, by prayer, singing, 
science, such as mathematics, and a simple temperate manner of life ; but it is 
only to be found in perfection among the gods, who are to be emulated as 
guides. Among the virtues, justice holds the highest place ; and this justice 
is embodied in the maxim, " Do not thou that, which thou wouldst not 
have others do ! " The theory of the harmony of the spheres was a poetic 
conception, originated by the motion of the heavenly bodies as they revolve 
in space at proportional or regular distances from each other. 

The Eleatic School. — While the Ionian and Pythagorean philosophies looked 
upon that which could be perceived by the senses, as arising out of and 
consisting in the invisible and eternal, Xenophanes of Colophon (572-478), 
the founder of the Eleatic school, declared the world itself to be the eternal 
and unchangeable reality, and became in consequence the father of Panthe- 
ism, that is of the theory which considers God and the world as one. By this 
assertion, that there is not a plurality of unchangeable things, but one un- 
changeable, namely the unity or whole, and that this unity or whole is God, 
he discountenanced entirely the plurality of gods, declared the universe to be 
God, whom he described as neither finite nor eternal, neither movable nor 
immovable, yet representing all, and omnipotent, ever unchangeably like 
himself, and most perfectly represented by the shape of the sphere. 

He and his pupils, Parmenides (about 504), Empedocles of Agrigentum 
(492-432), Zeno and others, who, like their master, were endowed with poetic 
talent, only recognised human reason, the imperfection of which, however, 
they never ceased to deplore, as the source of the perception of truth. The 
Eleatics first assumed the four elements, — air, earth, fire, and water, — as the 
primitive substances of the world, which, however, could be understood only 
under the form of unity ; and, by means of the art of dialectics, developed the 



knowledge that these only existed as a germ, into a philosophical system full 
of thoughtful and suggestive teaching. In the poem on nature, Empedocles, 
of whose extraordinary suicide on Etna many ancient traditions have told, 
assumes a system of the universe based on the elements above named, and 
pours forth eloquently the most sorrowful lamentations over the limitation 
and mutability of human things and knowledge. Without exactly belonging 
to the school of the Eleatics, Empedocles endeavoured to combine the prin- 
ciple of Heraclitus, that of Change, with that of the Eleatics, Existence. 

The Oldest Historical Writings of the Greeks. — When the heroic legends 
from which the epic poets after Homer obtained their chief materials were 
exhausted, the Greeks began to collect and note down the verbally trans- 
mitted narratives and incidents of a more recent period. Thus arose the 
earliest historical writings, which differed only in two points from the epic 
poetry of the Cyclists — in the first place, that the authors known as Logo- 
graphs, and writers of history and chronicle, kept closer to the traditions on 
which they worked, and kept in check the power of imagination which was 
always busy with oral traditions ; and secondly, that they discarded the use of 
metrical lines, and imparted their information in a free unfettered form, and 
\,hus became the originators of prose writing. 

Prose, therefore, was the sign that not the broad region of fancy, but the 
firm ground of limited reality, should be the domain of the mythograph. Man 
first learned to express his thoughts and feelings in poetry ; every primitive 
age surrendered to it its whole treasure of experiences, and in it fact found 
its first expression. As epic poetry had taken a twofold direction, the heroic 
and the theogonic, so did also the prose which emanated from it ; from the 
heroic was developed historical writing, from the latter the transmission by 
record of philosophical teachings. 

THE DEATH OF ARGUS. From Homer's Odyssey, after Flaxmaiu 



The Persian Wars. — Their Origin. — Re- 
volt OF THE Greeks in Asia Minor. — 
The First Campaign. — Darius ; Mar- 
DONius.— Datis and Artaphernes. — 
MiLTiADES. — Battle of Marathon. — 
Themistocles and Aristides. — Mari- 
time Power of Athens. — The Cam- 
paign OF Xerxes. — Leonidas and 
Thermopyl^. — Salamis, Plat^a, ]\Iy- 

"/ ^ HE Revolt of tJie Greeks in Asia Minor. — 
-^ Through the subjugation of the Greek 
colonies on the coast of Asia Minor by Cyrus, 
and the conquest of Thrace and Macedonia by 
Darius, the Persians had come into frequent 
contact with the Greek world ; and the ambi- 
tion of the former and the love of liberty 
innate in the latter necessarily ere long pro- 
duced occasions of strife. The attempt of the 
Greeks of Asia Minor to shake off the hated 
yoke, thus easily gave rise to a general war. 

For a long time the Hellenic colonies were 



obliged to stifle their desire for freedom, for the noble Greeks who had 
been established by the Persians as princes or tyrants in the different towns, 
and were consequently devoted to the court of Susa, were able to keep their 
countrymen in obedience. 

Then it happened that Histiaeus, prince of Miletus, was invited to the 
Persian capital, ostensibly as a reward for his service in preventing the 
destruction of the bridge of boats across the Danube in the Scythian cam- 
paign, but really out of suspicion excited against him by the Persian general, 
Megabazos (in Daneos), and was allowed to pass his days in enjoyment and 
splendour in the metropolis, though watched jealously by the king and his 
court. This position of combined pleasure and restriction became in time 
unbearable to him, and awakened in his breast the longing for his beautiful 
home and for the sea-breezes and free life of Ionia ; he therefore secretly 
persuaded his kinsman Aristagoras, who during his absence had carried on 
the administration of Miletus, to stir up an insurrection among the discon- 
tented Greeks, in the hope of thereby obtaining an opportunity to return. 
Aristagoras was all the more willing to second his plans as he himself dreaded 
the chastisement of the Persians for an abortive expedition against Naxos, 
which he had counselled and led, and also because he felt offended by the 
pride of the governor of Asia Minor. In Miletus the historian Hecal^us 
laboured to promote the cause of his country, first dissuading from the revolt, 
and then urging the inhabitants to keep the sea by means of a numerous 
fleet. Presently this island took up arms with the other Ionian towns to 
shake off the Persian yoke by the expulsion of their tyrants. Sparta and 
other powerful states of the mother-country were urged to render assistance ; 
but only Athens, — which feared that the Persian satrap Artaphernes might 
re-instate Hippias, who tarried in the vicinity, — and the small town of Eretria 
in Eubcea, sent a small number of ships. 

At first the rebellion appeared to prosper. In a short time, in 492, the 
whole coast country from Karia as far as Chalcedon on the Bosphorus was in 
open revolt, and stood fully prepared for war ; and Aristagoras formed the 
resolution of bringing about a speedy decision by an attack on Sardis, the 
chief town of Asia Minor. The Greeks succeeded in seizing on the ancient 
Lydian town, with the exception of the lofty citadel, and hoped to induce the 
inhabitants to join them. One of the Greeks, however, threw a lighted torch 
into a slightly-built house, and the flames quickly consumed the thatched 
buildings of the town. This act so greatly angered the Lydians that they 
espoused the cause of the Persians. Fortune now quickly changed. Not 
only was the army defeated on the coast of Ephesus by the Persian governor 
soon after the burning of Sardis; but the disunion of the lonians, and the want 
of organization in the undertaking, as well as the superiority of the enemy, 
resulted in the following year, 497, in the loss of the naval battle near Lade ; 
and the conquest and destruction of Miletus followed in 495. The Milesians 
were either killed or carried off into slavery on the lower Tigris ; Aristagoras 
fled to the Thracians on the Strymon, where he was slain ; Histiaeus, who 
had been sent to Ionia, and had joined the rebels, was taken prisoner and 
perished on the cross. 

Karia, after a brave resistance, was conquered ; Ionia fell anew under the 
Persian yoke, and was severely punished ; and Darius swore to be bitterly 
revenged on the promoters of the revolt, the Athenians and Eretrians. 
Herodotus relates that a servant was ordered to call out to him three times 
during every meal, " Lord, remember the Athenians ! " 


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The First Campaign ; Darius. 

MARDONIUS, the son-in-law of Darius, first 
travelled along the coasts of Thrace towards 
Greece with a fleet, and heralds demanded from the 
various Greek states a tribute of earth and water, as 
tokens of submission. But a storm dashed the ships 
against the promontory of Athos, and the Thracian 
tribes massacred a portion of the army ; so that 
Mardonius returned with the wreck of his force to 
Asia without having accomplished his object. 
COIN OF ALEXANDER '^^^ hcralds fared no better, ^gina, indeed, and 

most of the islands, gave the required gifts ; but when 
the messengers made the same demands in Sparta and Athens, they were put 
to death in defiance of all national rights. The Spartans thrust them into a 
well, bidding them gather there for themselves what they demanded ; the 
Athenians hurled them into the abyss Barathrum, which was used for the 
execution of malefactors. Enraged at this scorn and contempt, Darius, in the 
year 490, despatched a second fleet manned with numerous troops, under 
Datis, a more experienced warrior, and the young Artaphernes, the son of the 
governor of Sardis. The expedition passed through the Archipelago, where 
it reduced Naxos and the rest of the Cyclades to submission, and then the 
army landed at Euboea, After a brave resistance, Eretria fell through 
treachery into the hands of the enemy, who razed it to the ground and carried 
off the inhabitants as slaves to the interior of Asia. Burning and devastating 
as they went, the Persians now traversed the island, and afterwards, under 
the guidance of Hippias, landed on the Attic coast, and encamped on the 
plains of Marathon. The Athenians then sent hastily to demand help of 
the Spartans ; but when the latter replied that they must follow their old 
custom of waiting for the full moon before marching to battle, and must 
therefore delay ten days longer, the Athenians went forth boldly to meet 
their enemies under the guidance of ten generals. 

The most distinguished of these commanders was Miltiades, the son of the 
Athenian nobleman Cymon, who had been put to death by Hippias out of 
suspicion. As the owner of a strip of territory in the Thracian Chersonesus, 
the peninsula of Gallipoli, Miltiades had for a long period been a Persian 
vassal and administrator. He had taken part in the Scythian campaign, and 
was thoroughly familiar with the Persian customs, character, and method of 
warfare. From fear of the revenge of the Persian king, he had betaken him- 
self after the battle of Lade, with his family and possessions, in five vessels, to 
his native town of Athens, where his bravery and martial experience soon 
procured him the greatest consideration. Under his directions the Athenian 
hoplites, numbering 10,000 men, aided by 1000 Plataeans who had volun- 
tarily joined them, attacked the army of the Persians ten times their number, 
and completely defeated their foe in the battle of Marathon, in 490. The 
whole camp, with all its stores, fell into the hands of the victors. The Per- 
sians hastened to their ships ; but only after a desperate fight on the shores, — 
" which was carried on half on land and half in the water, with firebrand and 
sword and strong hand," and in which many brave men, including Callimachus, 
and Kynsegeiros, the brother of ^schylus, were killed, — were they able to sail 
away. But the Greek guards stationed on the heights saw with alarm that 
the enemy's fleet steered to the westward, round the promontory of Sunium, 



with the evident intention of surprising the defenceless town. They sus- 
pected that treason was at work, and that the adherents of Hippias had 
suggested this proceeding to the Persians ; it is said that a gleaming shield 
was lifted on the hills as a signal. Miltiades formed a prompt resolution. 
Leaving Aristides with his troops to guard the battle-field, he hastened with 
the greater part of the army by the shortest way to the town, and entered 
it just as the Persians were about to land. At the sight of the heroic band, 
Datis and Artaphernes gave up the undertaking, and sailed away. Hippias 
died on the journey home. The destruction of his hopes hastened his end. 

Great was the renown of the Athenians, who now proved for the first time 
that they were worthy of the democratic freedom which they had so recently 
introduced in their state ; and for centuries after, patriotic orators made use 
of the victory of Marathon to inspire the people with enthusiasm. Near the 

I. Athens — a great gold coin ; displaying head of Pallas with helmet ; on the reverse the Owl, the bird dedicated 

to Pallas. 

II. Silver coin of Byzantium ; crowned head of Bacchus, with a bunch of grapes on the reverse. 

III. Silver coin of Messene ; head of Zeus crowned ; on the reverse, an altar, with the word, Apollonidas. 

IV. Bronze coin of Athens ; with helmeted head of Pallas ; on the reverse the Acropolis. 

V. Silver coin of Thebes in Boeotia ; showing the Boeotian shield ; and the reverse the Indian Bacchus, crovnied 

with ivy. 
VI. Silver coin of Lacedaemon from the period of the Peloponnesian wars, before which Sparta had only bronze coins, 
showing a crowned head of Hercules ; and on the reverse an amphora, V. C. , and the letters La-da, for La (kai) da (imon). 

grave-mounds which are still to be seen on the plains of Marathon, the 
Athenians erected a memorial of the victory " To the champions of 
the Hellenes, whose might had stretched the gold-bedizened Medians in the 
dust," and a special monument to Miltiades, both in white marble ; and the 
poet Pindar of Thebes declared Athens to be " the strong pillar of Greece, 
the glorious city, worthy to be sung." The day after the battle 2000 Lace- 
daemonians arrived to assist the Athenians. They surveyed the battle-field, 
extolled the valiant deed, and then returned home. 

Miltiades, the deliverer of Greece, did not long enjoy his renown. He 
persuaded the Athenians to fit out a fleet for the conquest of the islands of 
the JEgean sea, which had submitted to the Persians. But when the attempt 
on the island of Paros failed, he was accused by Xanthippus of having 



deceived the people by false promises. Suffering from a wound he had 
received at Paros, and which had inflamed, the victor of Marathon was 
borne on a litter into the court of justice. The condemnation to death, 
urged by his adversaries, did not take place ; he was sentenced, however, to 
pay a heavy fine ; but before the sum, which amounted to fifty talents (about 
;^i 1,000) could be collected, he died. His gallant-hearted son Cymon paid 
the fine, and gave his illustrious father an honourable burial. 

Themistocles and Aristides. 

There lived at that time in Athens two eminent men ; Aristides, whose 
patriotism, honesty, and nobility of soul were so universally recognised that 
they had obtained for him the surname of the Just, and Themistocles, a 
highly talented ambitious statesman, whose sleep was disturbed by the 


thought of the trophies of Miltiades. Both had fought bravely on the field of 
Marathon, both endeavoured to make their country great and illustrious, but 
each worked in a different way. Aristides made use of no means which were 
not perfectly just and honourable, acquiesced in no measure whose morality 
appeared doubtful to his conscience, and considered the well-being of his 
country as consisting in a land-owning population, and in the national 
army formed of these proprietors. Themistocles was less conscientious ; he 
had only the advantage and greatness of his native town in view, and occa- 
sionally had recourse to cunning and deceit for the accomplishment of his 
aims. He was also of opinion that the Athenians should devote themselves 
more than they did to navigation. More astute and more talented than 
Aristides, Themistocles soon won greater consideration among the people ; 



and that he might not be hindered in his schemes, he wrought to bring about 
the banishment of the virtuous Aristides by means of ostracism. 

Thus, in 484, Themistocles became the sole guide of the Athenian common- 
wealth, and used all his influence to promote an augmentation of the fleet ; for 
this seemed the only way by which the Athenians could obtain a political 
preponderance and resist the power of the Persians. An utterance of the 
Delphic oracle, which declared that the safety of Athens depended on 
" wooden walls," favoured the execution of his project. With laudable public 
spirit, the Athenians acquiesced in his proposal that the revenues of the 
silver mines of Laurium should be devoted to the building of ships and the 



construction of the harbour of the Piraeus. " It is this which preserved 
Athens from all misfortunes, that she possessed a great man in her midst ; 
and the Athenians had sufficient good sense to prevent each man from think- 
ing himself wiser than all the rest, so that they confided themselves trustingly 
to the man of intelligence." 

Campaign of Xerxes, b.c. 480-479: Thermopyl^. 

While he was busied with great preparations for a new expedition against 
Greece, Darius was struck down by death. But his son Xerxes, who suc- 
ceeded him in 485, a proud prince of stately form and innate dignity, who 



had been bred in the luxury of palace life, took up Darius' scheme of revenge, 
and made such extensive preparations, that Herodotus says, — deriving his in- 
formation from popular traditions and poetic accounts, — he collected an army 
of 1,700,000 men, and a fleet of more than 1200 large ships. Demaratus, the 
deposed and fugitive king of Sparta, served as his counsellor and general, as 
Hippias had previously done to Darius. After the new ruler had completed 
his preparations, and had quelled an insurrection in Egypt with startling 
success, — by which his boldness was still more enhanced, — he caused all 
liis troops to assemble at Sardis ; and then, in 484, marched through the terri- 
tory of Ilium towards the Hellespont. All his actions bore evidence of the 
vainglorious pride which has made the name of the great king proverbial. 
It was a marvellous combination of all nations and tongues, with the most 
various descriptions of armour and weapons, that for seven days without 
intermission crossed the arm of the sea on two bridges of boats, which the 
Persian king had caused to be built not far from Abydos. It was accom- 
panied by an endless procession of grooms and camp followers, chariots con- 
taining women and waiting-maids, men, male and female servants, wagons, 
and beasts of burden carrying baggage, ornaments, and many other things. 
Every nation appeared in its national costume and armour ; the heavily 
armed Persian on his fierj^ horse, the half-naked Arab on his camel, the 

Sakians and the people of East Irania with bows 
and battle-axes, the troops from Asia Minor and the 
Caucasus, with woven shields and wooden helmets, 
and the Ethiopians clad in the hide of the leopard 
and the lion. After the passage over the Hellespont 
had been accomplished, the army marched from 
the Chersonesus through Thrace to Macedonia and 
Thessaly, while the fleet sailed along the coast and 
through the passage recently excavated by Phoeni- 
cian work-people between the promontory of Athos 
and the main land, and furnished the army with 

Thessaly submitted without striking a blow ; 
Boeotia, Argos, and a few smaller states timorously came forward with tributary 
offerings of earth and water. With threatening aspect the enemy came nearer 
and nearer. Then did Greece manifest to the nations what union, bravery, 
and patriotism can effect. A league accompanied by a decree for the cessa- 
tion of all internal feud, hastily concluded at the instigation of Themistocles, 
united the principal Greek states under the hegemony of Sparta ; and in July, 
when the Olympic games were just being celebrated, in 480, Xerxes appeared 
at the narrow Pass of Thermopylae which was guarded by the Lacedaemonian 
king Leonidas with three hundred Spartans, and about a thousand of the 
allies. These brave men solemnly devoted themselves to death ; to save their 
country from subjugation by the foe. 

To the demand to surrender his arms, the heroic general retorted with the 
answer : " Come, and fetch them ! " and at the remark that the hosts of the 
enemy were so large that their numberless darts and arrows would darken 
the sun, another retorted : " So much the better, we shall fight in the shade ! " 
In vain the Persian king endeavoured for some days to force his way through 
the pass; thousands of his soldiers succumbed to the lances and swords of 
the Hellenes ; even the 10,000 " immortals," the flower of the army, could not 
withstand the Greeks, who were favoured by the natural strength of their 






position. Then it was that a treacherous Greek named Ephialtes conducted 
a portion of the Persian army along a foot-path across the mountain heights 
of CEta. A thousand Phocseans, who had been stationed on the heights, at 
once took to flight, so that the enemy were enabled to come down unhindered, 
and attack the Greeks in the rear. At the first signal of the approaching 
danger, Leonidas dismissed the troops of the confederacy. But he himself 
with his three hundred Spartans, and the voluntary addition of seven hundred 
citizens from the town of Thespise, who desired to save the honour of 
the Boeotian name, chose to die heroically for his country. Attacked on 
both sides, they fought with the courage of lions, until, overwhelmed by 
superior force, and worn out with much fighting and slaughter, they were all 
slain. Only the Thebans, who had been compelled to take part in the battle, 
and after the capture of the pass had raised their hands in supplication for 
mercy, received quarter and were allowed to return home ; but they were 
dishonoured by being branded as royal slaves. Two Spartans, who were 
suspected of having avoided the deadly struggle, were declared infamous, 
a punishment which cut them so deeply to the heart, that one of them in the 
next battle wiped out the disgrace with a heroic soldier's death, and the other 
committed suicide. Leonidas and his heroic band lived long in song ; and 
a bronze lion in later times pointed out to the traveller the spot where 
the Doric hero-king and his brave followers fell, "faithful to the laws of 

Without further obstacle, the Persians now subdued Bcsotia and Phocis, 
carried their devastations into Attica, and reduced Athens to ashes; when the 
garrison of the citadel, composed of old warriors, was slain after a valiant 
resistance. The citizens capable of bearing arms served in the fleet ; the 
women and children, and all their goods, were taken to Salamis, ^gina, and 
Troezene on the advice of Themistocles. A courier carried the news of the 
victorious campaign of the great king to Susa. One accident only marred 
the general delight. A division of the Persian army had marched to 
Parnassus to rob and destroy the sanctuary of Delphi. As the Persians were 
ascending the rocky path of that gloomy region, stones and huge blocks of 
rock were hurled down upon them by invisible hands, so that many were 
killed, and the rest took to flight in terror. The Delphians did not fail to 
attribute the preservation of their sanctuary to the personal intervention of 
their powerful god. 



Salamis, Plat^a, and Mycale. 


THEMISTOCLES now became the de- 
liverer of Greece. The Grecian fleet, 
commanded by the Spartan Eurybiades, had 
in the meantime sailed from Artemisium, 
where it had successfully fought for many 
days, round the promontory of Sunium into 
the Saronic gulf; there it was soon pursued 
by the naval force of the Persians, which, 
in spite of the mishaps through storm and 
shipwreck which had been experienced, was 
still three to one. The Peloponnesians, who 
were only concerned as to the preserva- 
tion of their own country, and had thrown 
up a wall for the defence of the Isthmus, 
now formed the design of retiring and draw- 
ing the war towards the vicinity of the 
Corinthian isthmus, to bring themselves 
under the protection of the army. 

In vain Themistocles sought to dissuade 
them by his exhortations from this ruinous 
proceeding. He pointed out that the narrow waters, where the multitude of 
the enemy's ships could not readily manoeuvre, would be advantageous to 
them, and that by their withdrawal they would abandon the Athenian 
women and children at Salamis, who would fall into the hands of the enemy. 
The selfishness and narrow-minded distrust of the Spartans and Corinthians 
however withstood all his eloquence. At last the Athenian, with his quick 
inventive genius, found a way out of the difficulty. When everything was 
ready for departure, he sent to Xerxes, under cover of a dark night, a faithful 
messenger, who reported to the Persian monarch that the Greeks were dis- 
united and anxious to depart, and urged that he should not allow them 
to escape, for a sudden attack would procure him a certain victory. At 
this intelligence, Xerxes commanded that the island and the Greek fleet 
should be surrounded. Aristides, who was living in banishment at .^gina, 
brought news to his countrymen, and on the following day the memorable 
battle of Salamis (480) was fought, in which the Greeks obtained a decisive 
victory. Full of despair, Xerxes beheld from a neighbouring peak the 
destruction of his fleet, and then, concerned for his own safety, begun a hasty 
retreat with a portion of his army through Thessaly, Macedonia, and Thrace, 
during which thousands of his soldiers succumbed to hunger, cold, and fatigue. 
Numbers were drowned in the Strymon, whose icy covering, loosened by the 
sunbeams, broke under them. Even the Mithras-chariot with its eight white 
horses was lost in Thrace. The SpartanS awarded to Eurybiades the prize 
of bravery, but to Themistocles the olive wreath for wisdom and activity, 
and they presented him with an ornamental chariot. 

PlatcEa and Mycale. A similar fate befell the force of 300,000 tried men, 
left by Xerxes under Mardonius in Thessaly. In vain the Persian general, 
through the friendly Macedonian king, Alexander, who possessed the right of 
hospitality in Athens, offered to enter into a treaty with the returning citizens, 
in which he promised them peace and freedom, agreed to build thetr ruined 



temples, and to assign to them a strip of territory of their own choice. In 
the presence of a Spartan embassy who opposed the treaty and promised 
assistance, the Athenian assembly returned the spirited answer : " So long as 
the sun moves in the course it now runs, we will never conclude a treaty with 
Xerxes." Enraged at this defiant reply, Mardonius returned early in the 
year through the friendly state of Boeotia, marched into Attica, and com- 
pelled the Athenians, who had not received the promised aid from the 
Peloponnesians, to go forth once more into the tents of Salamis. 

When the urgent and threatening remonstrances of the Athenians at last 
compelled the Peloponnesian confederate army to march across the isthmus, 
and when this force was joined by Aristides with the heavily armed troops 
of the Athenians, the Greeks, under the leadership of Pausanias, in 479, won 
such a complete victory in the great battle of Platsea, over the enemy three 
times their number, that only 40,000 of the Persians escaped to the Hellespont. 
The remainder, with their brave leader himself, were either slain in battle, 
or at the storming of their camp with its entrenchments of palisades and 
wooden towers, or during the flight. The booty was immense. 









The flames of thankful sacrifice rose high on the altars of "Zeus the 
liberator," the holy fire for the purpose being carried by a courier from 
Delphi with a haste that proved fatal to the bearer. Plataea was rebuilt, the 
district of the town was declared sacred and inviolable, and a festival of 
thanksgiving and of victory was instituted to be celebrated with combats 
every year near the sanctuary before the gates, to which feast embassies 
were to be sent from all the states. From Thebes, on the other hand, 
Pausanias exacted the surrender of the chiefs of the Persian party, and 
two of these were executed. 



On the same day, in the neighbourhood of the promontory of Mycale, 
where they had drawn up their ships on the shore, and had protected them 
with a fence of woven shields and pahngs, the Persians experienced another 
decisive defeat from the neighbouring fleet of the Greeks, who had sailed from 
Samos, and landed in full view of the enemy. Here also a Spartan, Leoty- 
chides, was the leader ; but to the Athenians under Xanthippus, the father of 
Pericles, and the Milesians, who had revolted against the Persians, the palm 
of victory is due. The camp and fleet of the enemy were taken and burnt ; 
and the avenging sword made fearful havoc among the demoralised and 
terror-stricken fugitives. 

Enthusiasm had overcome numbers, and the doctrine, that patriotism and 
love of freedom, supported by the strengthening consciousness of national 
union and harmony, could overcome even an enemy of vastly superior 
numerical strength, found a glorious confirmation in the victorious combats of 
the Greeks. The battles of Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale, saved Greece from 
the yoke of the barbarians, and secured to humanity those noble and lasting 
possessions, which the free intellect of the Greeks has produced in the regions 
of art and knowledge. After the Athenians had conquered Sestos, and the 
islands of Lemnos and Imbros, and, in conjunction with the Spartans and 
other confederates, had obtained possession of Byzantium, the " key of the 
Black Sea," the great double victory of Cymon near the Pamphylian river 
Eurymedon, in 469, over the army and fleet of the Persians, concluded the 
war for the time. 

Yet the definite conclusion of a treaty known as the " Peace of Cymon," 
which is said to have freed all the Greek states from the Persian rule, has 
been disputed on weighty grounds. It was in reality the mutual cessation of 
hostilities that naturally brought about a condition of peace, during which 
no Persian ship appeared in Greek waters, and the Ionian confederates paid 
no tribute to Persia. 



Pausanias; His Negociations with 
Xerxes ; His Death. — Themistocles 
AND THE Spartans. — Aristides and 
Kymon or Cymon. — Nature of the 
Athenian Power ; Cause of its De- 
cay. — The Age of Pericles.— Era of 
Culture and Civilisation. — Athen- 
ian Art and Science. — Astasia. — 
Greek Sculpture. — The Parthenon 
AND Pallas Athene. — Athens until 
the Peace of Pericles. — The Ri- 
valry OF Sparta. — Vicissitudes and 
Changes during the Struggle. 

AFTER the battle of Plataea the war had 
been chiefly prosecuted by sea. But as 
the Spartans possessed neither the skill nor 
THE GREEK ACANTHUS. ^^^ fcquisite number of ships for a successful 

result, the chief command gradually fell into the hands of the Athenians, who 



bad behaved so nobly and courageously throughout the whole war. This 
transfer of supremacy was hastened by the treachery of the Spartan general, 
Pausanias, who ruined the martial fame he had won at Plataea, by an ambitious 
ndeavour to obtain the sovereignty of Hellas. At the conquest of Byzantium, 
Pausanias had taken prisoner some distinguished Persians, among whom were 
connections and relatives of the king. These he sent back to Xerxes, without 
the sanction or even the privacy of his allies, and gave out that they had 
secretly escaped. At the same time he intimated to the Persian king, that 
he would assist him in obtaining the rule over Sparta and the rest of Hellas, 
if Xerxes would give him his daughter in marriage, and would establish 
him as governor over the Peloponnesus. When the Persian king acceded 
with delight to the plan, the vain and ambitious Greek became so presump- 
tuous that he disregarded the Spartan laws and customs, dressed himself in 
costly apparel, kept a luxurious table, and chose Median and Egyptian men- 
at-arms for his retinue and attendants. By his harsh and domineering 
manner he soon caused the Lacedaemonian government to be generally 
detested. The Spartans, apprized of his proceedings, recalled the faithless 
general ; but their authority over the democratically inclined seaboard states 
was already so weakened, that they themselves resigned their claim to the 
chief authority, whereupon the maritime states attached themselves to Athens. 
Pausanias still continued in Sparta his secret negociations with the Persian 
king, and also endeavoured to bring about a transformation of the national 
laws and constitution ; but when his treacherous designs became known 
through a confidant, whom he wished to make use of as a messenger, he 
perished at last by starvation, about the year 467, in the temple where he had 
sought refuge ; for the Ephori, disregarding the sacred character of the building 
as a place of sanctuary, caused the brazen roof to be removed, and had the 
temple doors walled up. Pausanias' own mother is said to have carried the 
stone for the blocking up of the doors. 

While Pausanias thus diminished the power of his native town, the three 
Athenian generals, with their varied talents and qualities, contributed greatly 
to elevate the position of theirs. Themistocles, by his cleverness and cunning, 
managed to get Athens surrounded with a strong wall, and procured the com- 
pletion of the splendid harbour of the Piraeus, which Cymon and Pericles after- 
wards united by a long, broad, and extraordinarily thick wall of quarry stones to 
the capital. By this enterprise, which transformed Athens into a great camp, 
that could bid defiance to attack both by land and sea, Themistocles incurred 
the implacable hatred of the Spartans, who would not sanction the fortification 
of Athens, ostensibly, that the Persians, if they again invaded Greece, might 
ll find no fortified stronghold of which they could take possession, but in reality, 
because they wished to restrict the increasing power of the active state. They 
therefore accused him of participation in the treachery of Pausanias, declaring 
that he had been privy to, but had not denounced the treasonous project, and 
summoned him before a tribunal in which they themselves held the presidency. 
This happened in 471, at a time when his adversaries in Athens had succeeded 
in ostracising and banishing for ten years from his native town, the influential 
man who had raised Athens to a commercial and maritime state, had organized 
and improved the position of the protected citizens or Metoeci, and given an 
impetus to industry. Pursued by countless dangers, the great general fled 
to Asia, where he met with an honourable reception from the Persian king, in 
466, and the revenues of three ciT:ies of Asia Minor were assigned to him for 
his support. When, however, a few years later, the king solicited his assistance 


in bringing about the subjugation of Greece, he is said to have taken poison, 
to avoid the necessity of becoming the betrayer of his country. According 
to other accounts he died of a broken heart from sorrow and home-sickness. 
His friends secretly buried his remains in his native country. Later genera- 
tions believed that his grave was to be found in the small promontory which 
bends from the Piraeus towards the peaceful bay of the sea. They could not 
picture the great man as resting anywhere but in sight of the works he had 
called into being. But in Magnesia also, where for five centuries after his 
death his successors continued to enjoy considerable honours, a splendid 
monument was pointed out in the market-place and declared to be his tomb. 

Just as Themistocles advanced the interests of his native town by wisdom 
and great political sagacity, so did Aristides by his rectitude and disinteres- 
tedness. The high esteem in which his mind and character were held, induced 
the Greek islands and sea-ports to conclude a treaty with the Athenians, and 
to pledge themselves to supply money and ships for the carrying on of the 
war (476). The common fund, established in Delos, the island sacred to the 
gods of light, was established by Aristides, to whom the settlement of the 
amount to be contributed by each was trustfully confided, and Athenians 
were appointed both to the control of this treasure-chamber, and to the 
direction of the combined fleet. Not only the Ionian islands and towns, such as 
Samos and Chios, Miletus and Byzantium, but alsoiEolian Lesbos and Tenedos, 
the Doric commonwealths of Cos and Rhodes, as well as the Greek towns in 
Chalkidice and on the Thracian coast entered into the league of Delos. The 
furnishing of ships soon however became a burden to the smaller states, and 
they willingly freed themselves from the obligation by the payment of a | '' 
higher money tax. This afterwards gave the Athenians the welcome oppor- 
tunity of further increasing their fleet, and gradually bringing the islands of 
the yEgean Sea and the smaller maritime states under their rule. Possessing 
a superior naval force, nothing could hinder them from transferring the treasure- 
chest of the union, — formerly placed in Apollo's temple at Delos, and managed 
by special officers, or " Helenotamii," — to Athens, disposing of it as their own 
property, and treating the allied contributors as tributary subjects. Aristides 
died so poor that the state bore the cost of his burial, and had to provide for 
his children. ^ 

Cymon, the son of INIiltiades, deserved well of his country by his successful 
maritime undertakings, and won over the people by his kindness and gene- 
rosity. He was more a man of action than of words. He drove the Persians 
from their last ground of vantage in Thrace, and conquered the coast near 
the mouth of the Strymon, which abounded in gold and silver mines, where 
the Athenians afterwards built the flourishing commercial town of Amphipolis ; 
he also subdued the island of Skyros, divided the country in lots among the 
Athenian colonists, Kleruchi, and caused the bones of Theseus, who was declared 
to have died and to have been buried there, to be brought in solemn procession 
to Athens ; he wrested the Thracian Chersonesus from the Persians, and 
liberated the Greek states on the coast of Asia Minor from the sway of the 
barbarians. A skilful and successful naval commander, he vanquished the 
enemy not only in the double battle on the Eurymedon, in 469, where he 
conquered or destroyed in a bold attack two hundred of the enemy's galleys, 
but he also undertook a brilliant expedition against Cyprus, in 460, in con- 
junction with the Egyptians, who had revolted in order to wrest the island 
from the Persians. 


Athens Until the Peace of Pericles. 

UNDER the guidance of 
such men, the Athenian 
free state prospered and ad- 
vanced greatly. Rebelhous 
Naxos was subdued in 463 
and punished by the settle- 
ment of an Athenian peasant 
class on the soil of the island 
of Thasos, with its rich mines, 
on the Thracian coast, under 
the authority and taxation of 
the Athenians. 

The wealthy .^gina, flou- 
rishing through art, industry, 
and trade, but notorious for 
its obduracy, pride, and avar- 
ice, was conquered after an 
obstinate war lasting from 
459 to 455 ; and after the ex- 
pulsion of the inhabitants, 
who were transferred to the 
Peloponnesus, was peopled 
by colonists from Attica. 
Megara, with its two splendid 
harbours, became dependent 
on Athens; and when the 
Corinthians marched into the 
field for their country people, 
the valiant Myronidas de- 
feated them with a troop of old men and boys ; at a time when, as related, an 
Athenian army was fighting in Egypt against the Persians ; an army, of 
which only a very small number saw their homes again after a heroic return 
journey through Cyrene. 

However much the Spartans might envy the growing power and greatness 
of the rival state, — the war with Argos, the selfish ally of Persia, which out of 
revenge and envy destroyed the venerable town Mycenae, on account of its 
patriotic feeling, — the strife with other communities of the Peloponnesus, — and 
above all the fearful earthquake, which, in 465, laid the greater part of their 
capital in ruins, and plunged them into a desperate ten years war with the 
revolted Messenians and Helots, — made any opposition on their part impossible. 
They felt indeed so weakened, that at the siege of the mountain fortress of 
Ithome, in which the rebels had entrenched themselves, and which ofi"ered a 
determined resistance to the Spartans, who were little versed in such a method 
of warfare, they appealed to Athens for aid. Through the influence of Cymon 
and the aristocrats, some troops were despatched to their assistance, " that 
the two yoke-fellows might not be torn asunder, and Hellas crippled." 
Scarcely however had the Athenians crossed the Isthmus, than the distrustful 
Lacedaemonians already declared that they no longer wanted them, and sent 
them back. This shameful treatment embittered the Athenian democrats to 






such an extent that they procured Cymon's banishment by ostracism in 463, 
entered into an alliance with Argos, and then, in 455, assigned the town of 
Naupactus, which they had conquered a short time before, to the vanquished 
Messenians, or as many of them as could withdraw by emigration from the 
revenge of their oppressors. Only when the third Messenian war (465-455) 
approached a conclusion, were the Spartans able to take steps towards the 
enfeebling of Athens. Under the pretence of rendering assistance to the 
Dorian mother-country which was oppressed by the Phocaeans, they de- 
spatched a considerable army into Hellas, with the intention of raising a 
counterpoise to the influence of Athens by the re-establishment of the he- 
gemony of Thebes over the Boeotian towns, which had been destroyed during 


the Persian war, and gained a victory over the Athenians under Pericles at 
the battle of Tanagra in 456, through the desertion of the Thessalian cavalry. 
The Athenians had dismissed from their ranks the banished Cymon, who 
wished to fight among his comrades ; but when his old companions in arms 
met their death in valiant combat, they recognised their injustice and recalled 
him home. Thus this misfortune conduced to the welfare of the Athenians, 
for it re-established social harmony among them and awakened their feelings 
of patriotism. Subsequent successes soon caused their defeat to be forgotten. 
All the advantages which the Spartans and their allies believed they had 
gained by the victory of Tanagra, were annulled sixty-two days later by 
Myronidas at the battle of " the vineyards " (CEnophyta), which made the 
Athenians masters of Phocis, Locris, and Boeotia. They gave up the 


government of these three states into the hands of the popular party, and 
entered into friendly alliance with them ; but the democracy, which now 
attained to power, disgraced and weakened itself by hardness and cruelty 
towards the noble families, many of whom were killed, banished, or deprived 
of their rank and wealth. 

Cymon had the good fortune at his death to see his country at the summit 
of power and greatness, at a time when Pericles took the helm of the state 
[into his firm hand, and maintained peaceful relations with the Persians. But 
of Chios, Lesbos, and Samos, only three island states of the Delos league, 
remained in the position of free and independent alliance with Athens ; the 
others had all sunk into the position of tributary subjects of the sea-ruling 
city, which was now the arbiter of war and peace, decided matters of legal 
dispute and taxation, caused the treasure of the league of Delos to be brought 
to the temple of its virgin goddess, and annually increased the contributions 
paid by the states. Protected by walls and bulwarks, possessing fortified 
places in Achaia and on the east coast of the Peloponnesus, surrounded by 
dependent confederate states and without rivals on the sea, Athens appeared 
as though her sway were secured for ever. But the great extent of her 
possessions carried in it the germ of dissolution. The popular party, which 
everywhere obtained the supremacy by means of the Athenians, laid the yoke 
of oppression and persecution, which they themselves had previously borne, 
on the necks of the noble lords, many of whom, deprived of their property 
and rank, wandered homeless, carrying their grievances into distant regions. 
The fruits of all former victories and exertions were however annulled by the 
defeat at the battle of Coronea in 447, at the hands of Boeotian aristocrats 
and fugitives, when the brave general Tolmidas died a hero's death, and, as 
Thucydides with a bleeding heart relates, the Athenians were either slain 
or taken prisoners. 

Boeotia was now once again subject to the dominion of Thebes, where the 
aristocracy, who had returned from flight or banishment, now again obtained 
the supremacy, and exercised a bloody vengeance on their adversaries ; 
Megara and Euboea endeavoured to separate themselves from Athens ; a 
Lacedaemonian army threatened the confines of Attica ; Athens' supremacy 
would have been lost, if the wise Pericles had not succeeded, through bribing 
the Spartan commander, in bringing about a conclusion of the peace of 
Pericles in 445, in which Athens, to save Eubcea, gave up all the points 
which she possessed on the coast of the Peloponnesus. Sparta and Athens 
mutually guaranteed each other's hegemony, allowed the other states a 
voluntary union with one or the other of the confederacies, and stipulated that 
each should have free commercial intercourse in markets and harbours. 



The Age of Pericles. 


statesman and commander, distinguished 
for his great talents, high culture, and extra- 
ordinary eloquence, was descended from one of 
the most eminent and wealthy families, but 
embraced democratic principles, and strove for 
the favour of the people with the arts of a 
demagogue. In conjunction with Ephialtes, 
he deprived the Areiopagus of its moral in- 
fluence and aristocratic privileges, and trans- 
formed it into a mere court of justice with a 
limited sphere of duties. By a regulation 
introduced at his suggestion, that every Athe- 
nian citizen who sat in the court of justice 
or in the national assembly, or served in the 
army or fleet, should receive the sum of three 
oboli daily ; by devoting money to dramatic 
spectacles ; and by liberal gifts to the indigent 
masses, he won such a degree of popular 
favour, that he was chosen to fill the most 
important oflices, and for fifteen years, as 
" first citizen," guided the Athenian common- 
wealth with princely authority, using no other means than those the legitimate 
constitution placed within his reach. 

And without exercising compulsion or force, or flattering the multitude, 
he brought about the greatest prosperity and freest national life in internal 
afl"airs, with the most important influence abroad, by the mere force of his 
powerful mind. Under his rule Athens became "the heart of the body," 
the special home of art and literature, the chief city of Hellenic civilization. 
Through the erection of temples, such as the Parthenon and the temple of 
Demeter in Eleusis, of splendid buildings and pillared halls like the Propyla^a 
and the Odeion, he increased the renown of the state ; by the completion 
of the harbour and waterworks in the Piraeus, and the extensive walls, he 
secured and promoted navigation, commerce, and maritime trade ; he en- 
hanced the splendour of his administration and delighted the spectacle-loving 
crowd by magnificent festivals, plays, and processions ; and through the 
culture of art and knowledge, he promoted the intellectual elevation of 
the people. Impressed by the power of intellect, and initiated into all the 
erudition of his time, Pericles invited intellectual men to his hospitable house, 
where the beautiful and accomplished Aspasia of Miletus reigned in all the 
charm of her loveliness ; he provided for every citizen the means and oppor- 
tunity of educational improvement and of distinction, and thus caused a 
taste for art, literature, and poetry to penetrate all classes ; and a popular 
culture was developed, which, in combination with the general participation 
in public and political life, raised the whole state to such a pitch of civilization 
and intelligence, that nearly all the citizens were qualified to fill every public 
ofiice and to conduct state business. In this, however, lay the germ of the 
disease which subsequently consumed the commonwealth — the extravagant 
delight of the Athenians in participation in public government and judicial 



22 1 

affairs, which resulted in a neglect of and contempt for agriculture and the 
social and industrial occupations of the citizen. 

Under Pericles, also, Athens attained to the highest splendour abroad. 
Athenian settlers or cleruchi cultivated the fruitful plains of Euboea near 
Chalcis and Histiaea, the ancient inhabitants of which were driven away. 


Athenian maritime troops, after a siege of nine months (in which Pericles had 
the poet Sophocles for his fellow-commander), reduced the turbulent island 
of Samos once more to subjection. Athenian ships ruled the .^gean Sea, 
made the inhabitants of the islands tributary, and imposed taxes on the 
seaport towns in Asia Minor, on the Hellespont, and the coasts of Thrace, 
by which means immense sums of money were made to flow into the city. 




And thus the statue of Pallas Athene in the Parthenon was covered with | 
a garment of pure gold. Athens was a great emporium of the world, into \ 
which flowed the products of all lands. Pericles' actions and conduct every, 
where bore the stamp of an elevated mind, marked both by geniality and [ 
culture. " He was the ennobled expression and idea of the self-governing j 
democracy, and for this reason ruled with undisputed sway over the fickle \ 
multitude." Equally great in the arts of peace and war, he knew how to 
wield the weapons of intellect and oratory in the courts of justice and the , 
popular assembly no less effectually than the sword on the battle-field or in 
the fleet ; for at that time all powers and talents were cultivated together, 
and there prevailed a unity and a completeness in life, which, with increasing 
cultivation, eventually diverged in different directions. The age of Pericles, 
with its rich fulness, is therefore justly extolled as the fairest and most ; 
prosperous period of Greek history, when inward greatness was combined I 
with simplicity of manners, and intellectual culture with strength and social 
virtue. A bold and enterprising spirit prevented the enervation which had 
already commenced here and there, from becoming prominent 



The First Period ; 

The War of Archidamus, until the 

Peace of Nicias, in 421, e.g. 

The PELOPONNESIAN Confederacy, — Com- 
plaints AGAINST Athens.— Pericles and 
the Fleet. — The Plague at Athens. — 
Death of Pericles. — Decline of Athens. 
—Second Plague. — The Generals De- 
mosthenes AND Cleon, Defeated at De- 
LiuM.— Peace of Nicias. — Alcibiades ; His 
Career. — Expedition against Sicily. — 
Treason of Alcibiades. — Disasters of 
the Athenians before Syracuse. — Alci- 
biades Recalled to Athens. — Made Com- 
mander OF THE Fleet.— Battles of Argi- 


THE Spartans.— Lysander. — The Decline 
OF Athens.— Philocles.— Death of Alci- 
biades.— Result OF His Career to His 

THE prosperity of the Athenians filled Sparta 
with a feeling of deep envy and resentment ; and 



the arrogance and oppression with which the proud democrats treated the subju- 
gated confederates, gave rise to indignation and hatred. 
All Hellas divided itself into two camps : the Athenian* 
Ionic confederacy, — to which the islands and coast 
towns belonged, either voluntarily or under compulsion, 
— in which the democratic popular party of all the 
states centred their hopes and confidence, and whose 
strength consisted in its important naval power ; and the 
Peloponnesian confederacy under Sparta's guidance, to 
which were attached the Doric and most of the ^olian 
states, as Boeotia, Phocis, Locris, and others, in which 
the aristocratic and conservative party of the different commonwealths re- 
cognised their protector, and whose support depended on the heavily-armed 
bands of the hoplites. 

However great and widely diffused among the people the envy and sus- 
picion on both sides might be, the nations for a long time avoided breaking 
the peace of Pericles and overstepping the uncertain boundary line that 
divided them from each other. For it was easy to foresee, from the rage 
of passion and hatred, and the powerful position of both the leading towns, 
that any hostile encounter would develop into a terrible and desperate 
struggle, which, without decided aim, would soon assume the character of a 
war of extermination — a war that could only end with the destruction of the 
heads of one or the other of the confederacies. At last several circumstances 
arose, which brought about a rupture. The island of Corcyra was drawn 
into a war with the mother state of Corinth by the town of Epidamnus or 
Dyrrhachium, and appealed for aid to Athens, through whose assistance 
given to their foe, the Corinthians were compelled to withdraw after an un- 
decisive sea-battle. The latter regarded this as a rupture of the peace, and 
came forth with complaints, in which they believed themselves the more 
justified as the Athenians had made the Corinthian colony of Potidaea in 
Macedonia tributary, and now, when it refused the tribute, relying on Pelopon- 
nesian aid, were pressing it hard with war. A third point in their complaint, 
was the exclusion of the small Doric state of Megara, whose inhabitants were 
almost entirely dependent on trade with Athens, from all the seaports and 
markets of Attica, as a punishment for its falling off from Athens, and other 
offences of which it was accused. 

Upon the complaints of the Corinthians in the Peloponnesian assembly at 
Sparta, the Lacedaemonians, after some hesitation, made a formal demand, 
requiring Athens to abstain from the siege of Potidaea, to abolish the mar- 
ket and trade prohibitions against Megara, and to give freedom to all the 
confederates, especially the people of ./Egina ; and when the Athenians did 
not comply with this request, a Spartan army, under king Archidamus, 
marched into Attica and devastated the country. The villages were de- 
stroyed, the olive-trees felled, the fields and vineyards laid waste. Thereupon 
Pericles, whom the Lacedaemonians vainly hoped to remove from the govern- 
ment by the proposal for the banishment of the Alcmaeonids, summoned the 
Attic country people to bring their wives, children, and movables into the 
capital, to take refuge behind the long walls ; and he fitted out a fleet, with 
which he landed on the coast of the Peloponnesus and inflicted retribution 
on his enemies. 

Megara was quickly brought, by devastating sallies, to the verge of de- 
struction ; and the Athenians drove all the Dorian population away from 



/Egina, and re-peopled the rocky island with Attic settlers. This destructive 
method of warfare was continued for some time longer, until the horrible 
plague, travelling onward from Ethiopia and Egypt, made its way through 
Asia and the Greek islands to the Piraeus and Athens ; and there — gaining 
strength among the mass of human beings closely packed in bad and dirty 
dwellings, weakened by the unaccustomed changes of temperature, feverish 
excitement, and deficient food — it swept off thousands of men of every age 
and class, after fearful suffering. Among the victims was Pericles himself, who 
died of the plague in 429, after he had seen two of his sons and many of his 
friends and followers succumb to it ; and, by his celebrated funeral oration 
over the citizens who had fallen in battle, had given occasion to the celebra- 
tion of an annual day of mourning in the Kerameikos, or potters' ground, for 
the brethren fallen in combat. The unjust reproaches of the people, em- 


ittered by the sufferings of the war, the suspicions cast upon him by his 
umerous enemies, sorrow at the miserable condition of the state and the 
pusillanimity of the citizens, and natural grief at the death of his sons, un- 
worthy as they were, all combined to shorten his days. His consolation, on 
his death-bed, was in the reflection that no living Athenian had ever been 
obliged to assume a mourning garb for any deed of his. 

The decease of the sreat statesman was an incurable blow to the Athenian 
jcommonwealth, which suffered for three years from a terrible disease, until, 
scorning all medical aid and skill, at last it seemed, as though satiated and 
torpid, to sink down within itself and expire. Self-seeking demagogues, 
such as the boastful and magniloquent tanner, Cleon, took the place of 
the great statesman ; and party animosity, fostered by popular unions, 
weakened the inward strength of the state. The Athenian citizens became 
an unstable and fickle multitude, vacillating between arrogance and de- 
spondency, between infidelity and superstitious excitement ; and their leaders 


lacked the talent and knowledge which can only be gained by practice and 
experience in martial and state affairs. The masses who succeeded to power, 

I now oppressed the nobles and wealthy citizens, and imposed on them all the 
burdens of the state in the Leiturgia; dishonourable spies and informants, 
known as sycophants, constantly threatened with prosecutions the peace, 
safety, and prosperity of every citizen who did not appear to submit un- 

■ reservedly to the existing regulations. 

; Under these circumstances Athens was compelled to look idly on> while 
Platsea, its most faithful confederate, was subdued by the Spartans and 
Lacedaemonians, after a truly heroic resistance ; and to see those citizens taken 
who could bear arms, and their wives and children carried into captivity. On 

. the other hand, the Athenians succeeded in again subduing rebellious Lesbos 
with Mitylene, where a wealthy and proud aristocracy held the reins of power, 
and during the Olympian festival had joined the Peloponnesian confederacy. 
In the first heat of anger, the incensed people determined to kill all the 
able-bodied male population, and to make the women and children slaves. 
But soon a less revengeful feeling was awakened. At a hastily collected 
popular assembly on the following morning, the decree was so far mitigated, 
that only a thousand Lesbians, whom the general should select from the 
chief criminals, were to be sent to Athens, and there put to death as male- 
factors ; while the other inhabitants were deprived of their ships and fortifica- 
tions, and compelled to give up part of their property in way of fine. The 
possessors of the land, which till then had been free, were compelled to pay 
an annual rent to Athens. The sanguinary punishment which was inflicted 
on the originators of the rebellion was intended, by the terror it awakened, to 
deter others from similar attempts. Through the fault of the hard-hearted 
Spartans, the war had assumed the character of an endless vendetta with 
ever-increasing cruelty. Athens was also visited by a second plague, and by 
an earthquake ; torrents of rain and drought, in dismal alternation, spread 
terror and despondency throughout the state. " In the whole physical world 
there appeared a disturbance of the usual order of things, terrible and miracu- 
lous signs indicated an internal strife, a perishing of nature by pestilence and 
fearful earthquakes, such as had never yet been recorded. The elements 
appeared to have moved out of their course, and the very succession of seasons 
was changed." 

Soon afterwards, in 425, the Athenian general, Demosthenes, a man of very 
enterprising spirit, who had recently conquered the Corinthian town of 
Ambrakia, succeeded, during an expedition to Sicily, in gaining possession 
of the Messenian town Pylos (the modern Navarino), and from thence, with 
the help of escaped Helots and Messenians, he harassed the Lacedaemonian 
territory with raids and marauding expeditions. In vain did the Spartans- 
attempt to drive these intruders away. On attacking them they were repulsed^ 
and more than four hundred heavily-armed soldiers were blockaded in the 
barren island of Spacteria, where they would have died of hunger,, if certain 
Helots, lured by the prospect of freedom and reward, had not brought them 
provisions at great risk, in light rowing boats. For a long time the Athenians, 
dreading the bravery of the Spartans, attempted no landing. It was not until 
the arrival of fresh reinforcements that they succeeded in taking the island ; 
and, favoured by the conflagration of a forest and aided by the Messenians, 
who knew the locality well, they shut in the Spartans so completely in a 
mountain entrenchment, that the besieged were compelled to yield in a 
body, and were carried prisoners to Athens. This successful result for the 




Athenians had been brought about by Cleon, the leader of the reinforcing 
troops, who in consequence obtained an unexpected renown, and now en-| 
deavoured with all his might to prevent the conclusion of a peace, which wa^: 
already in process of negotiation. Not until the Athenians had sustained £ 
decided defeat, in 424, from the BcEOtians at Delium, — a temple of Apollo where 
Socrates and Alcibiades obtained the reward of bravery, and their genera 
Hippocrates with a thousand brave hoplites perished on the battle-field, — anc; 
until the skilful Spartan general, Brasidas, after having, in 422, successfully, 
penetrated the mountain passes of Thessaly, had made victorious war and 
subdued the Athenian colonies in Thrace and Chalcidice — did the aristocratic 
peace-party, with the wealthy and liberal but vacillating and superstitious 
Nicias at their head, gradually obtain the upper hand. Thus, after the victory 
of the Spartans at Amphipolis, where the brave and high-spirited Brasidas 
fell, and on which occasion Cleon was killed during the flight, the peace 01 
Nicias was brought about in 421; by which an agreement was made for a 
fifty years' cessation of hostilities, the surrender of all conquests and prisoners^ 
being further stipulated for, with the peaceful arrangement of all future^ 

Fearfully, however, did the strife still continue to rage between the 
aristocratic and democratic parties in most of the cities of Greece, and 
nowhere more cruelly and fearfully than at Corcyra, where the principali 
families were completely annihilated, and the fertile island, with its rich olive' 
woods, received a blow from which it never recovered. Where the Spartans 
conquered, the aristocrats obtained the mastery, and punished the opposite 
party with death and banishment ; where the Athenians gained the upper 
hand, the democrats took the helm, and treated their adversaries with similar, 

And many and severe misfortunes befel the states, — says Thucydides,— 
in their contentions, as it always is, and always will be, so long as human, 
nature remains the same ; only that, according to the variations of events, thel 
results will be sometimes more violent, sometimes milder, and various in their 
outward aspect. For in time of peace, and under fortunate conditions, states,,^ 
like individuals, foster nobler sentiments, because they are not driven by thej 
force of necessity ; but war, which takes away the plenteousness and thel 
daily enjoyment of life, is a rough teacher, and disposes the passions of the! 
multitude according to the circumstances of the moment. Thus the strife oi 
factions prevailed in the cities ; and where these warlike passions burst forth 
they assumed a more and more violent character, each piece of intelligence 
tending to increase them, both in studied malignity in attack, and in thel 
terrible nature of the vengeance exacted. 



The Career of Alcibiades. 




E conclusion of the peace with- 
out the co-operation of the 
Corinthians, excited them to hatred 
against Sparta. They therefore united 
with Argos, Elis, and a few Arcadian 
towns, in order to wrest from the 
Spartans the hegemony of the Pelo- 

They were assisted in this attempt 
by the youthful Alcibiades, then 
twenty years of age, the son of the 
brave and wealthy Clinias who had 
fallen at Coroneia. Alcibiades now 
for the first time gave evidence of his 
acuteness and his diplomatic talent. 

The kinsman and ward of Pericles,, 
and the youthful friend and com- 
panion of the great philosopher So- 
crates, Alcibiades possessed, in addi- 
tion to boundless wealth, the greatest 
physical and intellectual advantages, and a sleepless ambition. He was 
handsome, clever, highly educated, and an excellent orator, so that he would 
have been entirely fitted to play the part of Pericles, if he had possessed more 
tranquillity and prudence, and had known how to restrain his unbounded 

This distinguished citizen of Athens was one of those extraordinary and 
portentous characters, who determine the fate of whole nations and countries ; 
one of those imperious natures who cannot adapt themselves to the existing 
laws and regulations of the state, but, with a tyrannical repudiation of restraint, 
choose their course according to their own pleasure. Possessing an over- 
powering personal faculty of dominating others, he considered himself entitled 
to attempt all things, without regard to Divine and human rights. His in- 
terference in the Peloponnesian quarrel had now resulted in a war between 
the Spartans and the allies, in which the power of Sparta would have been 
sacrificed, if the victorious battle of Mantinea, in 418, had not restored the 
original authority of the town. 

The assistance which the Athenians rendered to the confederacy of Argos, 
the incomplete fulfilment of the conditions of peace on the part of the Spartans 
and their allies, the Thebans, and the remembrance of the sanguinary cruel- 
ties, which was kept awake by revengeful feelings, prevented a lasting peace be- 
tween the hostile states. Argos, torn by internal factions, still maintained its 
allegiance to the democratic city. The harsh proceedings of the Athenians 
against the Doric-Laconian island of Melos, which had remained neutral in 
the struggle, in order not to break faith with the mother-town or to excite the 
wrath of Athens, gave the final blow to the " rotten peace." After a resistance 
of several months, the island was compelled to surrender at discretion ; the 
armed population were put to death, the rest, with the women and children, 
were carried off into slavery, and the soil was divided among the conquerors. 

The jealousies, dislikes, and national hatred which were already rekindled, 
and prepared to break forth violently between Athens and Sparta, were still 


further heightened when the former state, in 415, despatched to Sicily, under 
Alcibiades, Nicias, and Lamachos, the most perfect fleet and the finest 
army of hoplites that had ever sailed from the Piraeus, in order to subdue to 
its sway the Dorian town of Syracuse, and probably the whole island, which 
abounded in corn and oil. But this undertaking resulted in failure. Alci- 
biades had been chiefly instrumental in planning this adventurous scheme of 
conquest; and his enemies took advantage of the general's absence to bring 
forward an accusation of impiety against him, declaring he had been guilty 
of profanation of the Eleusinian Mysteries, and had taken part in the 
mutilation of the stone statues of Hermes which were placed before the 
houses and temples, and in the market, streets, and cross-roads, as a decoration 
to the town and a sign of the pious temper of the inhabitants. 

Before the fleet had even landed in Sicily, Alcibiades was recalled to de- 
fend himself in a court of justice. For the wicked mutilation of the statues 
of Hermes, a deed which was accomplished in a single night throughout the 
whole town, and in which Alcibiades, with youthful levity, appears to have 
taken part, was believed to indicate a secret conspiracy of the aristocratic 
societies, or haetairiae, for the overthrow of the democratic constitution ; and 
therefore, on the deposition of the orator Andokides, a number of distinguished 
citizens were arrested as suspected persons, and accomplices in the treason- 

iable design, and some of them were punished with death. Alcibiades now 
feared the same fate, and took his measures accordingly. Instead of present- 
ing himself before the court of justice, he fled to Elis, in order to await the 
results of the inquiry; and when he received the news of his condemnation, 
he repaired to Sparta, where, thirsting for revenge, he sought to bring about 
the destruction of his native town ; and with this object incited the Spartans, 
among whom his great talents and gift of oratory soon procured him high 

[consideration, to the renewal of hostilities. Following his counsel, they 

] took up a strong position in Attica in 414, by seizing the small town of 
Dekeleia, three miles from Athens ; and sent their skilful general Gylippos 
with Peloponnesian troops to the aid of the kindred town of Syracuse. 

By this means the Sicilian war, which, in spite of the skill of the Syracusan 
general Hermocrates, had until then been generally fortunate, soon took an 
unfavourable turn for the Athenians. The fortifications thrown up for the 
blockade of the town were cut through, and the brave Lamachos with a large 
part of the hoplite army perished in the siege ; the narrowness of the 
iiarbour hindered the Athenian vessels from executing the sudden manoeuvres 
by which they were usually accustomed to conquer ; the ships' companies 
seemed demoralized, lost their discipline, and the stronger vessels of the 
Syracusans and Corinthians obtained the mastery. And when at last, after 
the destruction of the whole fleet, the two commanders, Nicias and Demos- 
thenes, the latter of whom had been sent with reinforcements, tried to take 
refuge with the remainder of their army in friendly Catana, they were 
surprised on their delayed march by Gylippos and the Syracusans, were 
separated from each other, and, after fierce fighting, compelled to surrender. 
Those who were not slain in battle or drowned in the waters of the mountain 

I river Asinaros, were sold into slavery, or suffered horrible tortures, working as 
convicts in the narrow pits of quarries without a roof to shelter them ; and 
happy were those who died a speedy death like Nicias and Demosthenes, 
whose heads fell by the hand of the executioner at Syracuse ; or who, 
according to other accounts, previously put an end to their own lives in 
prison with the aid of Hermocrates. " Their bodies were exposed to public 



view at the gate of the town, and the whole work of fearful revenge was 
concluded by the institution at Syracuse of a yearly festival called Asinaria 
in remembrance of the massacre in the defile of Asinaros." 

Mysterious rumours brought the first intelligence to Athens of the terrible 
fate that had overtaken the fleet and army before Syracuse ; and when 
the report of disaster was confirmed, there was scarcely a family that was 
not plunged in mourning. The Athenian confederates deserted, and joined 
the Lacedaemonians ; a Spartan army had taken possession of the fort 
of Dekeleia, in Attica, and prevented the transmission of supplies ; and a 
Spartan fleet fitted out at Alcibiades' suggestion, and assisted by Tissapher- 
nes, the Persian governor of Asia Minor, endeavoured to destroy the naval 
supremacy of Athens ; even Eubcea fell at last into the hands of the 
Peloponnesians, while in Athens an oligarchical faction, with Peisandros at 


their head, sought to overthrow the democratic constitution, and acted in 
collusion with Sparta. With the help of certain societies or clubs which 
existed in the city, Peisandros and his companions succeeded by a sudden 
stroke in overturning the unlimited popular government, in the place of 
which, in 411, he established a Council of Four Hundred, who were chosen 
reciprocally among themselves, and in limiting the popular community to the 
number of five thousand citizens, who, however, were never called to the 
popular assembly or allowed the exercise of civil rights. The Athenian 
naval and military force at Samos, with whom was the honest Thrasybulos, 
protested against this innovation, and insisted on the old order of things. 
Alcibiades also allied himself with them ; for, being disliked by the Lacedae- 
monian king Agis on account of a personal affront, and threatened by the 
wiles of the envious and suspicious Spartans, he desired to be again reconciled 



with his countrymen, and endeavoured to obtain for them the assistance of 
the Persian governor, whose confidence he had contrived to gain. The result 
was, that after a period of four months full of misfortunes, confusion, and 
sycophancy, the Council of Four Hundred was dissolved, and with the 
assistance of the wise Theramenes, the democracy was restored, though still 
with the limitation of the popular community to five thousand citizens. 

The End of Alcibiades' Career. 

The fleet now sailed under the command of Alcibiades from Samos to the 
Hellespont, and at Kyzicus and in two other battles, in 410 and 409, gained 
glorious victories over the Lacedaemonians, and took possession of the towns 
of Byzantium, Chalcedon, and most of the other places on the coast, and 
established a toll at Chrysopolis, which brought fresh revenues to Athens ; 


while the Spartan sub-commander in despairing mood despatched to the 
Ephori the laconic message : "The commander Mindaros is dead, the soldiers 
are famishing ; we know not what to do." The Athenians, rejoiced at these 
results, recalled Alcibiades, appointed him commander-in-chief of the fleet 
and army, and hurled the pillar of shame, on which his transgressions were 
inscribed, into the sea. But even he was not in a position to restore the 
weakened and distracted commonwealth to its earlier greatness. A few 
months after he had made, in 408, a splendid entry into Athens, amid the 
acclamations of the people, and for the first time had again ordered the 
Eleusinian procession in the sacred road, he was once more deprived of 
the chief command, in 407, because in his absence his general Antiochus had 
been defeated in a naval engagement at Notion, not far from Ephesus. 

He made his way to Tlirace, still keeping his glance fixed on his unfortunate 
country. Once more the Athenians' prosperous star was in the ascendant. 


The Spartans, under the command of the brave Callicratides, who, with his 
noble patriotism and warm national feeling, scorned to beg assistance of the 
Persians, and sought to establish peace and harmony among the Hellenes, 
made an attack on Lesbos, and shut in the Athenian fleet in the harbour of 
Mitylene. Thereupon the Athenians exerted their last strength, and sent 
a fleet manned by free men, dependent citizens, and slaves, to the assistance 
of their countrymen. Then was fought, in 406, the great sea battle of the 
Arginusse, a group of islands on the coast of Lesbos, wherein Callicratides 
died a hero's death, and many vessels on both sides foundered, but the 
Athenians remained conquerors. A violent sea-storm, and the discord among 
the commanders, prevented them from making use of the victory, or even 
collecting the corpses or rescuing from the fragments of the shattered vessels 
the perishing soldiers who might yet be clinging to them. This omission was 
attributed as a crime to the generals. Six of them, therefore, were sentenced 
to death in defiance of the law, by the popular assembly at Athens, and were 
compelled to drink the cup of poison. The efforts of Socrates and other 
friends of their country to save the unfortunate generals, were rendered vain by 
party hatred. All the victims died with the courage of innocence, and with 
words of blessing on their lips for their country and their fellow-citizens. 

After the fight of the Arginusse, the Spartans had again recourse to the 
cunning, enterprising Lysander, their astute general, who had already con- 
trived to make a wise use of the favour of the new governor of Asia Minor, 
Cyrus the younger, to increase the Lacedaemonian fleet by means of Persian 
assistance. Without reverence and regard for the old Spartan customs and 
the dual throne of the Heracleids, Lysander only followed the dictates of 
his ambition, and sought to make his native town supreme by every art 
and method, that he himself might rule over her. Though less genial than 
Alcibiades, he possessed the same power of winning others, and united in 
himself the same talents for generalship and diplomatic negotiation. The 
new commander gave the most brilliant proof of these arts and character- 
istics soon after undertaking the chief command of the fleet in the waters 
of the Hellespont. After he had seized the town of Lampsakos, he cast 
anchor on the Asiatic side of the Hellespont opposite the Athenian fleet, 
which was stationed not far from Sestos, on the flat shore of the Goat's river, 

The Spartan fleet was numerous, and accustomed to order and discipline, 
while the Attic fleet, in consequence of political divisions, had become more 
and more estranged from the old, severe military obedience. The Athenian 
naval forces, which had in vain offered battle four times, gave themselves 
up to the most culpable carelessness; — the land and sea soldiers were either 
resting in their tents or amusing themselves with games of dice and other 
pastimes. This negligence of his adversaries Lysander turned to his own 
advantage. Well informed of all that was going on, he suddenly brought 
up the whole Peloponnesian fleet from Lampsakos, fell unexpectedly on the 
enemy's vessels, and entirely destroyed the Athenian fleet in the terrible 
battle of ^gospotamos, in 405. " It was not a combat, but a massacre ; the 
Athenians were cut down in multitudes, taken prisoners, or scattered, and the 
ships were captured without resistance, or destroyed." Only eight triremes 
which Conon brought to Cyprus to the Hellenic prince Euagoras, and the 
swift sailer Paralos, which brought the sorrowful news to Athens, escaped 
the general destruction. Three thousand Athenians, with several leaders, 
were slain in Lampsakos as a sacrifice to the vengeance of the Spartans. 





Their general, Philocles, who in 
festive attire marched to his death 
in front of his companions, was 
the first to receive the fatal blow, 
and set the others an example by 
courageous endurance of his fate. 

Soon after this, Alcibiades' event- 
ful life also came to a violent end. 
Before the battle of ^gospotamos, 
he gave the Athenian generals 
some good advice, and warned 
them of the cunning of Lysander ; 
but the arrogance of some and the 
treachery of others prevented them 
from giving heed to his words. 
After the fall of Athens, the aristo- 
cratic chiefs attempted his life ; 
and on being again outlawed by 
the tyrants, he went to Asia Minor, 
in order to promote with all his 
power the welfare of his country. 
But, having been denounced by the 
Spartans to the governor, Pharna- 
bazus, he was put to death. 



At the command of the Persians his dwelling was surrounded by troops, the 
house was set on fire, and he himself, when endeavouring to escape from the 
flames, was shot with arrows from a distance. He died in 404. His mistress, 
Timandra, rendered him the last honours of burial due to the dead. Thus 
died this remarkable man by the hand of murderers, in the distant country 
of Phrygia, before he had reached his fiftieth year. More highly gifted than 
most mortals, he had, during his restless life, employed his talents and his 
fertile genius more to the disadvantage than to the benefit of his country 
More feared than beloved, he was little mourned in his death. 





Submission of Athens. — Lysander. — Abolition 
OF THE Democratic Government. — The Olig- 
archy. — Critias. — The Islands and Coast- 
towns, — Spartan Victories. — Retreat of 
Xenophon and the Ten Thousand. — Cheiri- 
SOPHOS. — The Corinthian War, and the 
Peace of Antalcidas. — Agesilaus. — Battle 
of coroneia, b.c. 394. — destruction of the 
Spartan Naval Power by Conon. — Indepen- 
dence OF the Islands. — Thrasybulos and 
Chabrias. — Discomfiture of the Spartans. — 
Peace of Antalcidas. 

AFTER the defeat of yEgospotamos, the power of 
J~\ Athens was gone. When Lysander had subdued 
the aUied islands and towns, and firmly secured them 
by the introduction of aristocratic forms of g-overnment, he, in conjunction 
with king Agis, surrounded the distracted city of Athens both by sea and 
land, where a host of homeless, helpless people from all parts had con- 
gregated ; and compelled the over-crowded town, — in which the horrors of 



famine soon began to prevail, and where a disloyal aristocratic party were 
in treacherous league with the enemy, — to unconditional surrender. This was 
in 404. The long walls and fortifications were torn down with rude scorn 
amid the playing of flutes ; the ships, with the exception of twelve, were given 
up to the Spartans, and all fugitives and banished men were brought back. 
Then, under Lysander's auspices, the democratic government was abolished, 
and the ruling power was entrusted to thirty prominent Athenians who were 
allied with Sparta, with unlimited power to establish the government in an 
aristocratic form by means of new laws. The members of this oligarchy, 
known under the name of the " Thirty," or the Thirty Tyrants, with the 
talented but passionate and malicious Critias at their head, raged with 
murder and banishment, not only against the democracy, but even against the 
less violent members of their own class. Thus Critias caused the former 
chief of the aristocratic faction, Theramenes, who, as negotiator with Lysander, 
had been chiefly instrumental in the surrender of the city, to be arrested and 
made to drink the poisoned cup, because he would no longer follow him in 
the path of savage cruelty and tyranny. Under this reign of terror, Athens 
was brought to the brink of destruction. Only 3,000 citizens possessed full 
civil rights ; wealthy landowners (metceci) were murdered and robbed ; in 
eight months, over 1,200 men are said to have been killed. At last the 
patriotic democratic leader, Thrasybulos, who had gathered round him the 
fugitives and outlaws at the boundary fortress of Phyle, succeeded, in 403, 
in gaining possession of the Piraeus, and encountered the oligarchists in the 
field. Critias fell in battle ; the remainder, who, with their armed allies, 
occupied Eleusis, fell a short time after through treachery into the hands 
of the victors, and were either executed or banished from the country. Then, 
through the mediation of the Spartan king Pausanias, who was jealous of 
Lysander, a reconciliation was brought about between the two parties of the 
Athenian citizens, the result being, that by a revision of the law undertaken 
during the Archonship of Euclides, in 403, the democratic constitution was 
re-established in its old moderate form, some reforms, necessitated by the 
time, were instituted, the claims of right and justice concerning possession 
and property were equitably settled, and, through the proclamation of an 
amnesty, order and tranquillity were restored to the distracted state. 

But the habits of the people were no longer in accordance with the old 
laws and the ancient state regulations. Inactivity and effeminacy took the 
place of the physical endurance of earlier days ; ease and love of pleasure 
produced repugnance towards warlike discipline and serious labour ; female 
companions of light morals, called hetairiae, loosened, the bonds of social life 
and injured the honest home customs of the old times ; sophistical philosophy 
destroyed the popular religion and the faith of the fathers. 

The islands and coast towns at first rejoiced over the fall of Athens, and 
did honour, with altars, festive songs, and hymns, to the victorious " warrior 
chief of Hellas," whose vain soul was so susceptible to flattery ; but the hope 
of again obtaining their freedom and independence was frustrated through 
the ambition and covetousness of the Spartans, who now strove for sovereignty 
at sea as well as the hegemony on land. They conquered Samos, and com- 
pelled the citizens to quit their possessions and go into exile ; they robbed 
the inhabitants of Chios of their ships, and with feigned friendship enticed 
eight hundred democrats of Miletus from their place of concealment, only 
to massacre them ; they oppressed the islands and sea-towns with heavy 
taxes ; they reduced Elis to the condition of a defenceless minor state, after 



having devastated the sacred territory with fire and sword ; they drove the 
unfortunate Messenians once more out of Naupactos, and endeavoured every- 
where to substitute for the democratic the aristocratic constitution, by cunning 
or force establishing everywhere decarchies, or companies of ten, and setting up 
over them proud and avaricious governors or half-military police officials, with 
a body of mercenaries. They even, in opposition to their old policy, assisted 
the cruel and misanthropic Dionysios in his attempts to obtain tyrannical 
power in Syracuse and, by means of savage bands of mercenary troops, to 
bring his fellow-citizens and many Greek towns in Sicily and southern Italy 
into slavery ; and they thus deceived the hopes of the citizens who had con- 
fided in their justice. 


Everywhere party strife prevailed ; everywhere there was persecution and 
flight of the democrats ; everywhere there was weariness of mind, savage 
degeneracy in character, a lessening of poetic and ideal effort, and exhaustion 
of hope. Life was endured as a duty ; men lived without joy, without the 
prospect of a brighter, more beautiful existence, or the fulfilment of dreams 
and aspirations. 

The Return of the Ten Thousand (400). 

Xenophon's principal work is the Anabasis, or the account of the campaign 
of the younger Cyrus against the Persians, and the return journey of the 
Greek army of mercenaries under the leadership of the Athenian historian 
himself Since the wars with the Greeks, the Persian kingdom had become 


continually weaker. Insurrections in Bactria, Egypt, and other provinces, 
where the governors reigned with unlimited power ; court intrigues of self- 
seeking weaklings, who perpetrated horrible crimes, and at the same time 
indulged in all kinds of dissipation, pleasure, and profligacy ; continual 
contentions for the throne, which generally became the prize of the victor, 
the vanquished party being disposed of by execution accompanied by cruel 
torture ; such is the principal tenour of Persian history during the next 
sixty years which followed the murder of Xerxes by the Hyrcanian Arta- 
banos, in the year 465. After Xerxes, his son Artaxerxes I., Longimanus, 
ascended the throne. He ruled until 425, and his forty years' reign was full 
of misfortunes of all kinds. After his death followed several changes of rule, 
accompanied by fratricide, treachery, and cruelty, until, in 423, Darius II., 
Nothos, captured his adversary by a stratagem, caused him to be suffocated 
in a heap of ashes, and then for nearly twenty years carried on his govern- 
ment in self-indulgence and luxury, disturbed by revolts and female intrigues. 
At his death, in 404, his second son, the younger Cyrus, governor of Asia 
. Minor, conceived the design of seizing the rule from his elder brother, 
Artaxerxes II., who bore the surname of Mnemon, or of "Strong memory." 
A chivalrous prince, of amiable manners, elevated sentiments, and devoted 
to Hellenic civilization, Cyrus possessed many friends ; even in Persia, his 
mother, Stateira, favoured his design. Under a variety of pretexts, he ac- 
cordingly collected a considerable army, the nucleus of which was composed 
of Spartan and other Greek mercenaries, and set out with it towards the East, 
concealing his true designs. In the plain of Cunaxa, some miles from Baby- 
lon, a battle took place in 401, in which the Greeks indeed conquered, but 
Cyrus himself fell in combat against his brother. Artaxerxes caused the 
head and the right hand of the unfortunate aspirant to be cut off, recompensed 
his own faithful protectors, and himself claimed the honour of the bloody 
deed of vengeance. 

The Asiatic army that had followed Cyrus dispersed after the death of 
its leader. The Athenians now received a summons to surrender ; and when 
this demand was refused, the Persians had recourse to treachery and deceit. 
Tissaphernes, formerly governor of Sardis, concluded in the name of the king 
a treaty with the Greek generals, in which he promised them a safe escort to 
Asia Minor. But after they had proceeded for some time up the bank of the 
Tigris, the Persian invited to a conference in the camp near the great river 
Zab, the general Clearchus, a warlike man of rough temper, of rapacious 
mind and a severe disciplinarian, with the other chiefs, and caused him with 
them to be treacherously murdered, thinking in this manner to obtain the 
mastery over the troops thus left without leaders. 

But the Athenian Xenophon, who had joined the martial expedition as a 
volunteer, was placed by the confidence of the general camp at the head of 
the army, and, in conjunction with Cheirisophos the Spartan, led it amid 
incredible difficulties through Armenia to the Greek trading town of Trape- 
zus on the Black Sea, and thence to Byzantium. Without knowledge of the 
country or language, and having no reliable guides to show the way, they 
were compelled to scale steep and pathless mountains, to wade through rush- 
ing streams, to penetrate inhospitable, snow-covered regions, pursued by the 
Persians and attacked by the inhabitants. When they for the first time 
looked down from a mountain height upon the sea, they broke out into loud 
cries of joy, and greeted it as the termination of their sufferings and trials. 
This retreat from a country, distant nearly 2,000 miles, shows, no less than 




the Persian wars, what superiority civilization, genius, honourable feeling-, 
and love of freedom, possess, compared with a mechanically-led mass, abject 
and grovelling impulses, and a slavish soul. 

In the Anabasis, Xenophon gives the following description of the joy of the 
army at the sight of the Black Sea :— " In five days they came to the holy 
mountain called Theches. When those in front caught sight of the sea 
from the mountain, they raised a great cry. When Xenophon and the 
Hellenes of the rear-guard heard it, they thought that the vanguard had 
been attacked by enemies, for from behind they were continually pursued by 
the inhabitants of the devastated country. Those in the rear had slain some 
in an ambush, taken others prisoners alive, and had thereby made booty of 
some twenty woven shields, covered with raw ox-hides. As the noise grew 




louder and came nearer, and those approaching from behind kept running 
towards the men who were shouting in front, Xenophon thought it must 
mean something important, sprang on his horse, and with Lycios and his 
horsemen, dashed forward to come to their assistance. At this moment they 
heard the soldiers calling out in a continuous cry, ' The sea ! the sea ! ' Then 
all in the rear set forward at a run ; even the beasts of burden were hurried 
onward. When they had all reached the summit, they mutually embraced 
each other ; commanders and captains wept for joy. And immediately the 
soldiers, as though the command had been given, collected stones and piled 
up a great mound, and laid a number of untanned hides thereon, and sticks, 
and shields that they had taken." They had thirty days' rest in Trapezus, 
which were cheerfully passed in religious festivals and martial games. They 
then deliberated concerning the continuation of the journey home. As the 




assembly of the camp decided by a large majority for the land, journey, 
Cheirisophos betook himself to Byzantium, there to obtain ships for the 
Dassage across. In the meantime, those who remained behind under 
Xenophon's guidance made warlike incursions in the surrounding country 
against the Colchians and other tribes in the neighbourhood; to seize cattle 
for slaughtering, and provisions. But when Cheirisophos, who could procure 
no ships, did not return, and everything around was consumed, Xenophon 
counselled to pursue the retreat along the coast. After they had placed the 
old men, the women, children, and invalids, with the dispensable baggage in 
a few hired ships, the army marched first of all to Kerasus, a colony of 
Sinope, like Trapezus,, Here,, when a. muster, was called, the army was found 


to consist of 8,600 men ; the others had either fallen in battle, or had perished 
in the snow, or had fallen a prey to disease. 

In Sinope, Cheirisophos again joined the army ; but he never reached home. 
He fell ill through vexation at certain disasters which the army had brought 
upon itself by dissension, and in the rage of fever swallowed poison. After 
their return, the troops who had been thus rescued entered the service of the 
Thracian king Seuthes as mercenaries, until, after the expiration of a month 
filled with renown and victory, they were called to join the Spartan army 
which had taken the field against the Persians in Asia Minor. 



The Corinthian War and the Peace of Antalcidas, 

Provoked that the Greeks had rendered Cyrus assistance, the Persians now 
plotted revenge. Tissaphernes, the opponent and successor of Cyrus in the 
governorship of Asia Minor, endeavoured with this end to subjugate once 
more the Ionian coast towns, which had all joined Cyrus, except Miletus, and 
had withheld from the king the taxes they owed him. They turned for help 
to Sparta, which was then regarded as the chief power in all Greece ; and 
a Peloponnesian confederate army was despatched under a Spartan general. 
The result was at first insignificant ; but when, through Lysander's influence,: 
the powerful, hardy Agesilaus, Xenophon's admired and honoured friend, who 
was full of zeal for ancient Spartan virtue, moral discipline, and simplicity, 
was made king, in 398, and entrusted with the command of the expedition 
against the Persians, matters quickly took a different turn. Lysander, who 
had expected to be able to lead Agesilaus according to his own inclination, 
soon found himself deceived in his hopes. Treated with unmerited contempt 
by the king, who was jealous of his authority, he made his way to the Helles 
pont, meditating revenge, and thence to Sparta ; while Agesilaus, after a vic^ 
torious battle on the Pactolus, not far from Sardis, in 395, with Tissapherne^ 
(who was recalled on account of this defeat and punished with death), marched 
through Bithynia and Phrygia, conquering and devastating, and purposed 





arrying the war into the interior of the Persian kingdom. Already the 
Spartans anticipated making great conquests in distant countries, when the 
new Persian governor of Asia Minor, by bribery and persuasion, succeeded in 
making and raising enemies against them nearer home, in their own land. 

The Boeotians, Corinthians, and Argives, envious of Sparta's growing 
power, and injured and oppressed in many ways by her selfishness and 
arrogance, were easily united by Persian gold into a league against the pre- 
dominant state. Soon, humbled Athens also joined the confederation. A 
border dispute between Locris and Phocis, in which the Thebans took the 


side of the former and the Spartans that of the latter state, caused the break- 
ing out of the war. Lysander, with passionate hatred in his heart, nominated 
commander through the active efforts of his comrades, hastened at once to 
Boeotia, to avert the threatened danger by prompt action, and then to avenge 
himself on the ungrateful Agesilaus ; but before Haliartos, in 395, he lost both 
the battle and his life against the united Thebans and Athenians. Agesilaus 
had now to give up his victorious progress through Asia Minor, and to hasten 
to the rescue of his country. He was indeed victor in the battle of Coroneia, 
in 394 ; but the numerical strength of the enemy, and the naval victory near 
Cnidos, won about the same time by the Greeko-Phoenician fleet under the 


command of the Athenian general Conon, who had entered the Persian 
service, — a victory which destroyed the Spartan naval power, caused Rhodes 
to revolt from the Lacedemonians, and cost the commander of the fleet, 
Peisandros, his life, — gave a heavy blow to the supremacy of Sparta. Conon 
gave back their independence to the islands of Chios, Lesbos, Samos, and the 
Greek coast towns of Asia Minor, expelled the Spartan harmosts and 
decanhi, and then, with Persian assistance, accomplished the re-establishment 
of the town and harbour fortifications of Athens and the building of new 
ships. The Athenians justly honoured the patriotic leader by erecting 
a statue of bronze. At the same time Thrasybulos made brilliant conquests 
on the Hellespont, until, on attempting harshly to collect the heavy taxes 
imposed on the inhabitants of Pamphylia, he was surprised during the night 
and slain in his camp. Nevertheless the young hero Chabrias of Athens 
saved the new naval power of his native state from destruction. 

The war now extended to the Isthmus, near to Sicyon and Corinth, whence 
it is also called the Corinthian war. The strife continued for a long time here 
without the accomplishment of any important warlike feat. Whoever sur- 
passed his opponent in cunning and audacity, was looked upon as a master. 
It was not a fight with regular ranks of war in the open battle-field, or accord- 
ing to scientific and approved methods of warfare; both parties were only 
intent on inflicting injury on each other by bold surprises and unexpected 
attacks, and did their utmost to carry off" booty and prisoners from the 
enemy's territory by daring raids and pillaging expeditions. It was a war 
full of savagery and horror, fostered by hatred and party animosity, and at 
last chiefly carried on by troops of mercenaries, whose path was marked by 
fire, devastation, and murder. Every national right was trodden under 
foot ; no temple, no sanctuary of religion was respected. In Corinth, at the 
Eucleia festival, the unionists, in the open market place, murdered their 
opponents who were favourable to the Lacedaemonians ; and they united their 
city with Argos into a democratic league, — but shortly afterwards, in 392, 
near the harbour town of Lechson, they sustained a defeat at the hands of 
the Spartans and a number of fugitive and exiled aristocrats, which filled the 
slave market with prisoners. Not till the talented general Iphicrates of 
Athens,' — who founded a new system of science in warfare, in which he made 
use of light-armed mercenaries, or Peltasts equipped with small shields and 
long spears, and gave a more suitable equipment and choice of weapons 
to the hoplite army, — surprised and annihilated a portion of the Spartan 
force during its retreat, did the war assume an aspect threatening to the 
Spartans. They then turned their eyes towards Persia, more intent on the 
preservation of their supremacy than on the greatness and freedom of Greece. 
They sent the crafty pleasure-loving Antalcidas, a man without consideration 
for the honour of Sparta and the maintenance 6f Hellenism against the 
barbarians, to the Persian governor Tiribazas, in order to obtain for his native 
city the friendship of the "great king," and thus to procure continuance of 
the Spartan hegemony. 

After long negotiations, on the progress of which the continued war by 
land and sea exercised a variable influence, and during which the aristocratic- 
minded Athenian statesman Andocides in vain attempted to bring about 
a reconciliation between his native town and Sparta, the peace of Antalcidas 
(sSy) was at last established, in which the Greek town-communities of the 
Asiatic continent and the island of Cyprus were yielded to the Persians, but 
the remaining Hellenic states, and all the islands, except Lemnos, Imbros, 



and Scyros, which remained under the Athenian sway, were declared free and 
independent. By this dishonourable peace, which was forced upon Greece 

by the 


king, and was the consequence of general enervation, the 

west coast of Asia Minor was for ever lost to Hellas and to liberty. The dis- 
solution of all the Hellenic leagues and the isolation of small commonwealths 
brought about by Sparta, produced not liberty, but helplessness, and the em- 
ployment of mercenary troops in warfare, which increased from that time 
forward, caused the citizens to grow more and more unaccustomed to the use 
of arms, and thus hastened the destruction of their free constitutions. The 
faithful ally of Athens, the chivalrous Euagoras of Cyprus, with whom 
Conon ended his days, became, after a spirited struggle of the Hellenic 
population against the Persian supremacy, a tributary subject-king of the 
ruler of Susa, In the Peloponnesus, where the different towns rejoiced in the 
semblance of an independent rule under Sparta's guidance, no material change 
was made in the previous conditions of the league by the peace of Antalcidas. 





Sparta's Tyranny, and the Theban War. — De- 
generacy OF THE Spartans. — Increase of 
Wealth. — The Ephori. — Conquest of Man- 
tinea. — Degradation of Olynthus. — Thebes 
in Bceotia. — Epaminondas and Pelopidas. — 
Battle of Leuctra, b.c. 371. — Hegemony of 
Thebes. — Battle of Mantinea, 362. 

BY the Peloponnesian war Sparta had become the 
first power in Greece. Thus the Athenian orator 
Lysias was able to say, shortly before the peace of An- 
talcidas: "The- Lacedsemonians are regarded as the 
leaders of the Hellenes, and certainly with justice, on 
account of their innate bravery, and their martial skill ; 
and because they alone dwell in a country that has 
never been devastated, a country without fortifications, 
without civil dissension, unconquered, and that has ever 

maintained the same constitution.". 




Sparta abused her powerful position by oppressing the other states, and thus 
soon drew down upon herself the hatred of her allies, as Athens had formerly 
done. The Spartans had long ago fallen away from the simplicity and strict- 
ness of morals inculcated by Lycurgus. Foreign wars had brought wealth ; 
wealth engendered avarice and love of pleasure, which again gave birth to 
a host of vices. Already at the time of the Persian wars, kings and generals 
allowed themselves to be bought for large sums, and the dishonourable 
practice of bribery had since attained a fearful prevalence. The ancient 
sacred oracle, "The love of money will ruin Sparta, nothing else," was 
already near its fulfilment. At the same time the leaders practised shameless 
extortions, and disgraced the Spartan name by rapine in the enemy's country 
as well as among their allies. 

Through Lysanderand men of his way of thinking, foreign metal money came 
in large quantities to the Dorian capital. Immense wealth and possessions 

I. Silver coin of Delphi ; with Apollo Musagetes playing the lyre ; reverse, a tripod. 

.II. Bronze coin of Miletus ; showing head of Apollo with a laurel crown ; on the reverse, a lion looking round at a star. 

III. Gold coin of Ephesus ; famous for the temple of Artemis or Diana ; showing head of Artemis, with diadem, bow 

and arrow ; and on the reverse, the old symbolic figure of Artemis, with a stag and a bee, symbols of nature. 

IV. Gold coin of Syracuse ; with a head of the river-nymph Arethusa ', on the reverse, a figure 

in a chariot, crowned by the goddess of victory. 

v. Silver coin of Samos ; a lion's head, symbolic of the power of Samos ; on the reverse, a bull. 

VI. Silver coin of .<Egina ; showing a tortoise ; and on the reverse, a square, with a dolphin in one of the compartments. 

accumulated in the hands of a ^t\\ families, who revelled and caroused while 
the poorer people starved. The richer citizens with full privileges composed 
the Homoei, an exclusive ruling corporate body, to which the poor and moder- 
ately wealthy minor citizens were graduallj^ compelled to become subordi- 
nate. Not only did this privileged class furnish the members of the counsel 
elected for life ; it also directed the resolutions of the great national assembly. 
"The diminution of the old powerful famiHes through wars and disease, 
concentrated the possession of land in fewer and fewer hands, between the 
years B.C. 400 and 350, especially since the Ephor Epitadeus had abolished 
the law that rendered estates inalienable, and brought about with the increase 
of avarice a kind of money and nobility formerly unknown, which supported 
the claims of birth of the old families at the expense of the general civil free- 
dom." Already in the second year of the reign of Agesilaus, a certain Cinadon 


had formed a conspiracy, with the help of Periceci, Helots, and other un- 
privileged and neglected inhabitants, in order to put an end to the oligarchy 
of the Homoei ; but the plan was betrayed, and the originator and the other 
leaders of the conspiracy were executed. At the same time the royal power 
was still further weakened, partly by the discord and jealousy of the two 
hereditary ruling families, and partly by the decHne of respect consequent 
upon their avarice and venality. 

The power of the five Ephori increased as the royal authority declined. 
" The Ephori," observes Xenophon, " have the power to punish when they 
please, and to carry out the punishment forthwith ; they can recall every 
magistrate, apprehend any citizen, and bring accusations on questions of life 
or death. At their arrival the kings must rise from their seats, must follow 
their judical summons without delay, and must even submit their domestic 
affairs to their censorious supervision." They gradually absorbed all the chief 
departments of state power within the sphere of their office, convoked and 
directed the popular assembly, appointed ambassadors and army leaders, 
whom they charged with written instructions, exercised a censorious super- 
vision over morals and habits of life, and acted in every way as the repre- 
sentatives of the popular sovereignty. 

The peace of Antalcidas, which Sparta was appointed to guarantee and 
carry out in conjunction with the Persian king, strengthened anew the pre- 
dominance of the Lacedaemonians, for they made use of the provision, that 
all Greek towns should be free, for the dissolution of all state confederacies 
and unions of states, and for the weakening of all the chiefs of the league, 
that their own hegemony in the Peloponnesus might be the more extended 
and strengthened. In 385 they conquered and destroyed Mantinea, which 
did not serve them with sufficient willingness, an^ ventured to pursue an 
independent policy ; they compelled its inhabitants to dwell in open villages ; 
they brought their aristocratic followers back to all the towns, and raised 
them to power and distinction. In 380 they surrendered the town of Phlius, 
on the north-east boundary of Arcadia, to a troop of banished oligarchs, and 
placed the fate of all the citizens in the hands of these men, who could 
accordingly dispose of every one of them for life 01' death. They exercised 
throughout the whole of Greece an imperial and arbitrary power, and nowhere 
did any one venture to resist the commands of a Spartan. But the abuse 
of this ascendancy was the prelude of their own disastrous fall. The Greek 
town of Olynthus in Macedonia had united some neighbouring Hellenic 
towns by a free union into a Chalcidean confederacy, over which, as the chief 
town, it exercised a kind of predominance, without however violating the 
principle of legal equality of the members of the league. This caused the 
towns of Apollonia and Ocanthos to make complaints, and Sparta to issue 
the command that the Olynthians must dissolve their hegemony because it 
was opposed to the peace of Antalcidas, On the latter refusing to obey this 
command, the Spartans entered the country with an army, besieged their 
town, and after a three years war, from 383 to 380, in which Teleutias, the 
chivalrous brother of Agesilaus, was slain on the field of battle, and the young 
king Agesipoiis died of a burning fever, reduced it to subjection, and to com- 
pulsory recognition of the Spartan sovereignty. 

During the journey through Bceotia, the Spartan general Phcebidas was 
persuaded by the chief of the aristocratic party in Thebes, to assist them in 
the overthrow of the democratic constitution and the establishment of a ruling 
oligarch. The attempt succeeded. In the hot noontide hour Phcebidas 


entered the open gates of the town and gained possession, without resistance, 
of the unguarded Kadmeia. The leaders of the popular party were treated 
as traitors ; some were executed, like Ismenias, others banished or im- 
prisoned ; the oligarchs seized the power and ruled imperiously and des- 
potically, confiding in the Spartan garrison of the citadel. The Spartan.s 
made a pretence of punishing their general Phoebidas by the infliction of 
a small fine, but did not evacuate the Kadmeia, and sought to turn the state 
of affairs to their own profit. But retribution soon overtook these treacherous 
men. The fugitive democrats collected in Athens, with which city the 
BcEotians had become reconciled since the Spartan domination, and from 
there kept up communications with those of their party at Thebes. After 
a time, being invited by the latter to return, they came back, disguised in 
different ways, as peasants and hunters, assembled in the house of Charon, 
a friend, and late at night, disguised in long women's dresses, and closely 
veiled, they surprised the chiefs of the oligarchy, who were assembled at 
a luxurious banquet. After they had murdered them, they summoned the 
people to strike for liberty, re-established the democratic government, and 
compelled the Spartan garrison to depart from the citadel This led to a 
war between the Thebans and Lacedaemonians^ 





Epaminondas and Pelopidas. 

THE commonwealth of Thebes was then directed by 
two men, united by close friendship^ and dis- 
tinguished alike for love of freedom, patriotism, and 
virtue, as well as for warlike skill and bravery, Epami- 
nondas and Pelopidas. These great men joined their 
powers in the endeavour to raise their country. 

Epaminondas, who, under the tuition of his father's 
guest, Philolaus, the Pythagorean, had obtained a culture 
and an intellectual range of vision far beyond the mental 
horizon of the other Boeotians, introduced a new method of warfare, the 
oblique order of battle ; and Pelopidas, one of the returned fugitives, by 
whose strong arm the bravest of the oligarchy, Leontiades, had been struck 
down on the threshold of his own house, instituted tlie " sacred band," 
which, bound together by the closest friendship, and inspired by love of 
freedom and renown, successfully repulsed every attack of the Spartans. 

At first the Athenians, whose harbour, the Pirseus, the Spartan harmost 
Sphodrias had endeavoured to get into his power, by a stratagem similar to 
that once employed by Phoebidas to gain possession of the Kadmeia, took the 
side of the Thebans, and through their generals Iphicrates, Chabrias, and 



Timotheos, the son of Conon, inflicted considerable injury on the Lacedae- 
monians by land ; they even united again a number of islands and maritime 
states, such as Chios, Rhodes, Samos, Mitylene, into a second Athenian 
league, this time, however, recognising the liberty and independence of those 
states, and giving them the right of voting in the council of the league ; and 
through the victory of Chabrias near Naxos, in 576, where the Spartan fleet 
was destroyed, Athens once more gained the supremacy of the sea. But 
when Thebes obtained the mastery of the smaller towns of Boeotia, the old 
jealousy was once more aroused, and on the refusal of two towns to submit 
to their authority, drove out the inhabitants, and destroyed Thespia as well 
as Platsea in 373, which latter had been an ally of Athens since the days 
of Marathon, and had not long been rebuilt. Through the mediation of 
Persia, a peace was brought about between Athens and Sparta, in which the 
supremacy on the sea was guaranteed to the former, while the latter was to 
have the hegemony by land, the principle of local self-government being estab- 
lished for all the remaining Hellenic states ; and when Thebes refused to dis- 
solve her youthful confederacy and to release the Bceotian town (" It shall be 
done," said Epaminondas grimly, " if Sparta's Perioeci are acknowledged as free 
communities "), the Lacedaemonians once more marched into the country with 
an army, but in spite of their spirited resistance, sustained 9. terrible defeat in 
371, at the battle of Leuctra, when Epaminondas, putting into practice his 
new tactics, broke through the Lacedaemonian ranks in a sudden charge, 
and Pelopidas with his chosen band covered the flank and rear of his army. 
Four hundred Spartan citizens, and six hundred Perioeci lay stretched on the 
field of battle, and the number of those who fled vanquished from the combat 
was so great, that Agesilaus advised that the ancient Spartan law, according 
to which all who fled from their standard were considered as dishonoured and 
deprived of military rights, should on this occasion be left in abeyance. 
Among the fallen was the commander of the army, king Cleombrotos. 

Heroically did the Spartans bear the sad intelligence. The Ephori com- 
manded a general arming of the citizens, and forbade all loud lamentation ; 
and on the following day the relatives of the dead appeared with cheerful 
countenances, those of the survivors only exhibiting signs of grief. But in 
Thebes the day of the battle of Leuctra was celebrated with festive 
processions so long as the town existed ; for through this victory the 
Boeotian capital became an independent power in Greece. The Hellenic 
states now freed themselves from Spartan supremacy, re-established the 
suppressed popular governments, and punished the aristocrats who had been 
established by the Spartans, with execution and banishment. Everywhere 
there raged anew the most bitter party animosity, exacting its sacrifices 
of blood ; but nowhere more fearfully than at Argos at the time of the 
" skytalismos," where nearly 1,200 aristocratic citizens were slain with 
cudgels. Thus, in suicidal frenzy, Greece pulled down with her own hand 
her noble power, and destroyed her social and material welfare. 



The Hegemony of Thebes under Epaminondas and Pelopidas. 

The Boeotians were neither so talented and intellectual as the Athenians, 
nor so powerful, energetic and vigorous as the Spartans. Their predominance 
therefore was only the work of their two great generals, through whose virtue 
and genius the whole of the citizens were for a time elevated ; and with the 
corpse of Epaminondas, the splendour of Thebes also was carried to the 
grave. Pelopidas was well informed, clever, and brave, a man of deeds 
rather than of words, enthusiastic for all the higher aims of life, and, in spite 
of his wealth and distinguished descent, an enthusiastic adherent of demo- 
cratic principles. Epaminondas was high-minded, experienced in warfare, 
and as upright, unselfish, and poor as Aristides ; conscious of his worth as 
a man, and of his noble aspirations, he despised wealth and enjoyment, and 
the single cloak he possessed was a greater adornment to him than any riches 
would have been. With an agile frame that had been hardened and 
strengthened in the athletic schools, he possessed a penetrating mind, 
developed by study and meditation, and with natural taciturnity he combined 
an impressive eloquence on suitable occasions. His oratory had its root in 
the moral principle that pervaded his whole personality. Singing and flute- 
playing enlivened his leisure hours. Soon after the battle of Leuctra, 
Epaminondas went to the Peloponnesus and approached the unfortified capital 
of Laconia, which for five hundred years had not had an enemy in its vicinity. 
Then Sparta fell into great distress. The Arcadians, Argives, and other 
confederate states went over to the Thebans ; in the towns of the Perioeci 
insurrectionary movements occurred ; the Helots were uncertain. But in 
this dangerous situation Spartan greatness and the military talents of 
Agesilaus became manifest. The excellent preparations for defence made 
by the old king, and the resolute demeanour of the Spartans, whose wives 
and children even put their hands to the work, kept Epaminondas from any 
hostile attack. After he had carried devastation through Lacedaemonia as 
far as the south coast, he returned, driven by cold and hunger, once more, 
in 363, to Hellas. Before his retreat, however, he magnanimously righted an 
old wrong. He gave freedom to the Messenians, the victims of a policy hostile 
to the people, relinquished to the descendants of the ancient inhabitants who 
returned from foreign countries, the land their forefathers had possessed, and 
founded the town of Messine, with the blood-soaked mountain of Ithome 
as its citadel. After the blessing of the gods had been invoked by sacrifice 
and prayer, the strong encompassing walls were erected, amid songs and the 
sound of the flute. The founders then proceeded to construct dwelling- 
houses and sanctuaries. Every one assisted and promoted the labour of the 
workpeople, who had been called together from all parts of Greece. 

In a short time the expelled Messenians flocked back in numbers from 
abroad, in order to take up their abode in the dearly-loved land of their 
fathers. And so disdainful and hostile had the otherwise gentle and pliable 
popular character shown itself towards foreign influences, that those who 
returned home had lost nothing of the Dorian language and habits though the 
dispersion and exile of the nation had lasted nearly three hundred years. 
The restoration of Messenia was in reality the death-wound of Sparta, After 
the return of the army, the Bceotarchs were accused by an envious, hostile 
party of having exercised their office longer than the law allowed. Then 
Epaminondas, on whom the other leaders threw the blame, declared before 
the judges, that he perceived he had violated the law, and forfeited his life. 



only he wished them to inscribe on his grave that he had transgressed 
commands, and been punished by death by the Thebans, inasmuch as he 
had invaded Laconia, besieged Sparta, and re-established Messenia. The 
examining judges were silenced, and did not even give their votes. From 
that time forward, the Thebans ruled in Greece. They repeated their ex- 
peditions to the Peloponnesus, regulated by the sword or by arbitrary 
interference the confusion in the affairs of Thessaly and Macedonia, and with 
Persian assistance, even compelled the Athenians to renounce their newly- 
acquired dominion over the sea. But their sovereignty was not free from 
bloody deeds of violence. While Epaminondas and Pclopidas remained 


with the army in Thessaly, armed bands of people, incited by hot-headed 
democrats, marched, in 368, against Orchomenos, where they pretended to 
have discovered a conspiracy of the aristocrats, destroyed the hateful town, 
murdered the knights and principal citizens, and carried the rest of the 
inhabitants with their wives and children to the slave market. Thus the 
venerable and renowned city of Orchomenos, once the superb seat of the 
Minyae, disappeared from the roll of the towns of Greece. " If I had 
been at home," said Epaminondas, sorrowfully, " the horrible deed would 
not have been perpetrated." Soon, however, the supremacy of the Thebans 
was disputed by some warlike princes of Thessaly, and by a newly constituted 
democratic league in Arcadia, of which the "great town," Megalopolis, 
founded on the advice of Epaminondas, was the chief town. In battle 


against the former the brave Pelopidas met a hero's death in 364, and the 
Boeotians were compelled to content themselves with an uncertain peace 
and an outward submission ; and the turbulent proceedings of the Arca- 
dian confederate state, which was first friendly towards the Thebans, but 
then in vainglorious pride endeavoured itself to obtain the supremacy, 
and, in fierce delight in spoil and warfare, subjugated the peaceful little 
country of Elis, and seized the sacred temple and treasures at Olympia, 
brought Epaminondas repeatedly back to the Peloponnesus. 

Soon dissensions crept in among the Arcadians, and caused some to join 
the Lacedaemonians, while others sought the protection of Thebes. When 
Epaminondas, therefore, for the fourth time marched with an army into the 
peninsula, and once more approached the alarmed capital of Laconia, the 
Spartans collected all their strength under the leadership of Agesilaus, and 
encouraged by the successful defence of their unfortified town, and supported 
by Athens and the Arcadian aristocrats, they took the field against the 
Theban general. The bloody battle of Mantinea, in 362, was gained by the 
Thebans, but the victory was dearly bought by the death of Epaminondas. 
A javelin had pierced his breast. He caused himself to be carried to an 
eminence, " the watch-tower," in order that his presence might encourage his 
followers. Not till he had assured himself of the defeat of the enemy did 
he allow the deadly weapon to be drawn from the wound, and then breathed 
out his heroic soul. The following year, 361, died also, at eighty years of 
age, Agesilaus, who had seen Sparta's highest power and deepest fall. It 
was after his return from an adventurous expedition into Egypt. The general 
enervation which now prevailed in Greece, made the peace counselled by the 
dying Epaminondas a necessity. Athens, it is true, still endeavoured once 
more to subdue the revolted sea-states in the so-called League war, from 
358 to 355 ; but the latter, with the assistance of the Carian king, Mausolus, 
offered a vigorous resistance, until the menaces of Persia deterred the 
weakened democratic republic from further attempts at conquest. The 
Athenians renounced their supremacy over the sea, and thus contributed 
still more to make Greece, consisting as it did of a number of free republics, 
resemble a "torn body;" all the states being in such a state of weakness and 
exhaustion that not one of them could lay undisputed claim to the hegemony. 
Samos alone still remained in the possession of the Athenians, who established 
a CIcruchia there. 





Macedonia and the Early Kings. — Alexander I.— Perdiccas II. — 
Amyntas II. — Philip of Macedon. — His Character. — His 
Great Enterprises.— The Period of the Sacred Wars. — The 
Thebans and Phok.^£ans. — Intervention of Philip. — Ven- 


War. — Extension of Philip's Kingdom. — Destruction of 
Greek Liberty. — ^schines at Rhodes. — Philip at Amphissa 
and Elateia. — Alarm of the Athenians. — Influence of 
Demosthenes. — Battle of Ch/Eronea. — Philip's Meditated 
Expedition against Persia. — His Violent Death at yEcyE. — 
His Wife Olympias. — Her Proceedings. 


Macedonia, and its Early 

NORTH of Greece lies the wild 
mountainous country of Mace- 
donia, the inhabitants of which con- 
sisted of a number of people of 
various origin, among whom there 
were also probably some Pelasgian 
and Greek races. The latter dwelt 
in the old country of Emathia, whose 
chief town was Edessa, afterwards 
called /Egx, the original capital of 
the Macedonian kings, whose family 
was descended from the Heraclidae 
of Argos. Originally established on 
the wooded heights of the Skardic 
mountains, the Macedonians gradu- 
ally descended into the le\el \alley 
of the A.xios and the coast region, 
and extended their country eastward 
as far as the Str}-mon, and south- 
wards as far as the Cambunic moun- 

W7 s 


tains and the Olympos. War, hunting, and the breeding of cattle formed the 
only occupations of the rude, hardy people, who generally went into battle on 
horseback, under princes of the tribes, only honoured those who had slain an 
enemy, and varied their simple, uniform life by noisy feasts, warlike games, 
and splendid banquets. 

With bravery they combined shrewdness and cunning. At one time tri- 
butary to the Persians, they took advantage of the victories of the Greeks, to 
shake off the foreign yoke. Thus Alexander I., who reigned from 498 to 454, 
allied himself sometimes with the Persians and sometimes with the Greeks, 
and slaughtered a portion of the army flying through Macedonia after the 
battle of Platsa. The intelligence which he brought to the Spartan general 
of the impending attack, the night before the decisive battle, contributed 
greatly to the victory of Pausanias. Various wise kings, who, like the 
Greek kings of the patriarchal period, enjoyed high consideration as generals, 
high priests, and judges, — especially the prudent Perdiccas II., from 454 to 
413, and Archelaos, from 413 to 399 the friend of Hellenic culture and 
poetry, with whom Euripides dwelt, and for whom the painter Zeuxis 
adorned the palace and temple at Pella with works of art — brought Mace- 
donia, by means of the importation of the Greek military system, and of 
Greek customs, nearer to the culture of Hellas. But the freedom and the 
political equality of the various classes did not spread in the same degree as 
in Greece : for this reason already, that Hellenic culture, in its earnestness and 
reality, did not become the property of the Macedonian people, but only 
influenced the higher classes, and especially court-life, in its outward refine- 
ment. Therefore did Socrates proudly decline the advantageous invitation 
of the king. He wanted for nothing, he replied ; for in Athens four measures 
of wheat corn could be purchased for an obolos, and the best spring water 
could be had there for nothing. 

After the reign of Archelaos, (who was murdered while hunting, by two 
favourites whom he had offended), and two short intermediate reigns, Amyntas 
II. came to the throne, during whose reign, from 393 to 369, Macedonia was 
brought to the brink of destruction by conflicts for the crown, disturbances, 
and internal disorders. Not only did this king lose his capital, Pella, 
in war, against the new confederate state of Olynthis, — until, with the 
help of the Spartans, he regained possession of it, — he had also to encounter 
the warlike Illyrians, and the inhabitants of the mountainous Macedonian 
country, who favoured a rival king ; and could only maintain his sovereignty 
with the assistance of the Thessalian nobility. These disturbances continued 
also after the death of Amyntas ; court intrigues, contentions for the throne, 
and assassination in the ro}^l household, distracted the country to such an 
extent, that sometimes the Thessalians, and sometimes the Thebans were 
obliged to interpose as arbitrators to restore order. The two elder sons of 
Amyntas died after short reigns ; the first, Alexander, who succeeded in 369, 
perishing in the next year by the murderous hand of his brother-in-law 
Ptolem^us, at the instigation of his wicked, intriguing step-mother, Eurydice ; 
the second, Perdiccas, being killed in an unsuccessful battle against the , 
Illj^rians and highlanders. Under such conditions, when enemies abroad j 
and dissensions at home threatened to destroy the nation, Amyntas' youngest i 
son, Philip, succeeded to the throne in 360, a man who was entirely fitted to ) 
seize the sovereignty of Greece, which, since the battle of Mantinea had been 
a matter of dispute. For some years, from 368 to 365, he had lived as a 
hostage at Thebes, and both there and in other Greek towns had made 




himself familiar with the character, habits, and culture of the Hellenes ; and 
indeed, he always loved and favoured Greek culture and its promoters, though 
in his general conduct he remained faithful to the habits of his people, and 
was even addicted to drunkenness, the prevailing vice of his nobility. Philip 
united to wisdom, the cunning and cleverness of a statesman, the talents of 
a general, the activity and perseverance of a warrior, and the generous and 
liberal character of a royal ruler. His path of victory may be traced by such 
dismal landmarks as devastated towns and enslaved communities ; but he did 
not enter Greece as a barbarian king, but with admiring veneration for every- 
thing that was great and beautiful that flourished there. He allowed the 


conquered nations to retain their laws and customs, and consequently made 
the loss of liberty less painful to them. No mercenary troops w^ere a match 
for his splendid army, which consisted of heavily armed foot-soldiers, active 
horsemen, and a brave guard ; an army that fought for fame and national 
honour. His infantry, armed with long lances, swords, and large shields, 
composed the celebrated phalanx, whose powerful shock, when they charged 
with extended spears, no enemy could withstand. Possessing considerable 
wealth, he knew how to procure the success of his undertakings no less by 
the arts of bribery, than by the fortune of his arms ; and his shrewdness and 
cunning, which latter sometimes extended even to a breach of iaith, made 
him quick to discern every advantage. 


Philip and his Fortunes ; Demosthenes and ^schines. 

Philip is remarkable for the almost undeviating success with which he 
carried out his undertakings. The Greeks themselves are described as having 
seconded his endeavours to destroy their liberties. It is related of him that 
he became himself alarmed at his undeviating good fortune ; for the my- 
thology of Greece represented the gods as looking with anger on a human 
greatness that too closely resembled their own. Therefore, like Polycrates 
of Samos, Philip is said to have wished that some mischance might mingk 
with his prosperity, for on one day three tidings of joy had been brought to 
him. His wife Olympia had borne him a son, afterwards destined to become 
Alexander the Great ; one of his generals had gained a great victory ; and 
his chariot had conquered at the Olympic games. And thus he feared that 
the envy of the gods might be excited. His wish was destined to be fulfilled 
in a way he little expected. He was besieging a town, and had refused the 
services of Aster, a skilful bowman, who boasted that he could bring down 
the swiftest bird in its flight, with the scornful words : " We will engage him 
when we go to war against the magpies." Full of anger, Aster joined the 
garrison of the beleaguered town ; and presently, from the ramparts, he shot 
an arrow that struck the king in the eye, destroying the sight. On exam- 
ination, the arrow was found to have the words inscribed on the shaft : " For 
King Philip's right eye." Philip is said to have caused the arrow to be shot 
back into the town, Meltone, with a new inscription upon it, to the effect that 
when Philip took the place he purposed to hang Aster the archer — an inten- 
tion which he scrupulously carried into effect. 

The greatest and most formidable opponent of Philip, and the man who 
did most to stir up whatever of patriotism remained in Greece, and especially 
in Athens, to resistance against the Macedonian king, was the celebrated 
statesman and patriot Demosthenes. This great orator, the pupil of Iso- 
crates, used all the varied power of his rhetoric in the celebrated twelve 
speeches known as Philippics. He was at the head of the patriotic national 
party in Athens, who endeavoured to maintain the old freedom. His great 
opponent ^schines, on the other hand, declared that Athens was far too 
weak to maintain itself alone, and consequently came forward as an ardent 
supporter of Philip. When Demosthenes had by his eloquence induced the 
Athenians to send a fleet to relieve Byzantium, besieged by Philip, and had 
thus saved that city, a golden wreath was decreed to him as a reward of 
patriotism, .^schines endeavoured to procure the recall of the gift, by 
calling into question the services of Demosthenes ; whereupon the latter so 
entirely crushed his enemy by his splendid oration "Pro Corona" that 
yEschines was punished, and quitted Athens in anger. He betook himself to 
Rhodes, where he afterwards founded a school of Rhetoric, which stands 
midway between the stern Attic form and the soft and effeminate manner of 
the Asiatics. 

That for a time the fiery exhortations of Demosthenes had the effect of 
rekindling the flame of patriotism in the bosoms of the Athenians, and even 
penetrated to the lower classes, there is no doubt. It would .be sufficiently 
proved by the one fact, that when the decisive combat came, the Athenians 
did not merely send mercenaries into the field, but that the younger citizens, 
inspired by Demosthenes' eloquence, seized their arms and went forth to 
strike a blow for their country. 

The Period of the Sacred Wars. 



FAVOURABLE opportunity brought Philip to 
the Macedonian throne at the very period 
when the Greeks, by their degenerate habits, party 
rage and effeminacy, had rendered themselves un- 
worthy of that republican liberty which can only 
exist in conjunction with virtue, simplicity, and purity 
of manners. The Thebans,, who were always inferior 
in culture and in the higher mental qualities to the 
other Hellenes, degenerated more and more in pros- 
perity ; " the men were opinionated, rude, and harsh 
of voice," and their warlike vigour and boldness gave 
place to an ignoble, love of feasting and of coarse, 
sensual pleasures ; and although the beautiful and 
noble women and maidens of the capital, dwelling 
among gardens, meadows and grassy hills, still wore 
"the white veil reaching to the eyes," and "plaited 
in comely fashion their fair hair," the younger ge- 
neration of ** the lovely soft-voiced Theban women," who had adopted the 
freer manner of life of the south, lacked the strict chastity and morality, the 
ancient pride and loftiness of soul. The Athenians were addicted to sensual 
pleasures — lived in splendour, ostentation and luxury — and, especially during 
the government of Eubolos, lavished their state revenues in festive banquets, 
processions, and pageants ; to disturb their festive rejoicings was regarded 
as the greatest crime. Meanwhile, their civil and social life was troubled 
and disturbed by litigiousness and party strife. 

In Sparta there prevailed an inequality of rights and property that could 
not last ; since, by the already-mentioned law of Epitadeus, the property 
of the state had been declared private property, and every possessor was 
at liberty to bequeath and devise, or give away his land, the loos or cleros, 
at his pleasure. Above all, the growing system of mercenary military service, 
that in some destroyed patriotic feeling, in others warlike courage, was the . 
source of innumerable crimes. In the separate states there was no longer a 
class of nobility ; virtue and justice had ceased to exist ; " liberty had become 
intractable, power insolent, fidelity venal." Philip's efforts were directed 
towards securing his paternal kingdom by strong boundary lines on the side 


of the land against hostile invasions, and at the same time opening the access 
towards the sea. Scarcely had he extended and secured this territory on the 
west and east by successful wars against the Illyrians and Thracians, brought 
the Greek towns, Amphipolis and Potidaea, under his sway, and in the 
neighbourhood of the former, established the strong town of Philippi, on 
a steep eminence, in a region abounding in ancient gold mines, when 
the Sacred Wars, which lasted from 355 to 346, afforded him the desired 
pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of the Greeks. The Thebans 
desired to make use of their supremacy to subjugate the neighbouring- 
country of Phokis, where, since the memory of man, free citizens and free 
peasantry had lived in a confederacy of their towns ; and for this purpose 
they had recourse to the Amphictyonic league, accusing the Phokseans before 
the council of this institution of having taken possession of, and brought 
under cultivation, a certain piece of land belonging to the property of the 
temple, and lying under an ancient curse. The Amphictyonic court, by 
the votes of many minor members of the league, who were entirely led 
by the party interests of the Thebans, sentenced the Phokaeans to a heavy 
money fine, and when they refused the payment of the sum, which far 
exceeded the resources of the poor country, it pronounced the sentence 
of outlawry. upon them, and charged the Thebans with the carrying out of 
the punishment. The warlike Phokaeans now took a bitter revenge on the 
effeminate, self-indulgent Delphians, who, out of hatred to the neighbouring 
country, had chiefly contributed in procuring the sentence of condemnation. 
They occupied the town of Delphi, and oppressed the inhabitants with heavy 
burdens and extortions ; they then seized the rich temple, plundered it of 
the treasures it contained, and by means of these treasures procured a large 
army of mercenaries ; with which, for ten years, they successfully resisted all 
the attacks of their enemies, and even conquered some of the Boeotian towns. 

Most terrible was the bloody vengeance of the wild Phokaeans and their 
rapacious hordes of mercenaries, who had bold and vigorous leaders in the 
wealthy citizen Philomelos and his comrade Onomarchos, and a central 
stronghold in the rocky temple-town of Delphi. A war broke out which, 
in scenes of savagery and horror, was equal to the bloodiest incidents of 
the Peloponnesian civil war. The death of the brave Philomelos, who, 
after the defeat at Neon, in 354, threw himself down a steep, rocky 
eminence to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy, did not bring 
about the wished-for peace. His fiery companion in arms, Onomarchos, 
with his rapacious and sacrilegious troops of mercenaries, continued the 
war with such success, that he not only drove the enemy out of the 
mountainous country of Phokis, but undertook destructive raids into 
Boeotia and Thessaly. These invasions roused the Thebans to appeal 
for help to the king of Macedonia, who, during the Greek disturbances, 
had strengthened his power and extended his kingdom on all sides by 
successful wars. Philip obeyed the invitation; first subjugated Thessaly, 
the Phokaeans' ally, whose skilled troops of horsemen rendered him good 
service, and then entered Phokis through the Pass of Thermopylae, in 
352. Onomarchos was slain in battle, and his corpse was nailed to the 
cross by the Macedonians ; and three thousand prisoners, as plunderers of 
the temple, were put to death by drowning, in 346. 

After a brave resistance, the Phokaeans were compelled to surrender under 
the hardest conditions. They were excluded from the Amphictyonic league 
as a people under a curse.; .and Philip .who had assumed the character of a 







champion of the gods, and had marched his soldiers into the field crowned 
with the laurel wreath of the Pythian Apollo, took their place ; the Phokaean 
towns were demolished ; some of the inhabitants wandered forth, pursued 
by the ban, which declared them outlaws and abandoned them to the 
murderous sword of every enemy ; others were carried off as slaves, and 
those who remained became a subject people. From that time forward 
Philip was regarded as a Hellene, and took part in the Amphictyonic league 
and the Olympic games ; and the quarrelsome Greeks chose the " pious " 
protector of the sanctuary and oracle of Apollo as arbitrator in their internal 

The " Sacred War " had the most disastrous consequences, not only for the 
Phokseans, — who, savage by nature, had become even more brutalised by long 
strife and by intercourse with barbarous troops of mercenaries, — but for the 
whole of Hellas. The pillaging of the temple and derision of the national 
faith, which had been associated with the war, completely extinguished 
all veneration for the gods in the hearts of the Greeks. Golden vessels, 
wreaths, and works of art of inestimable value, and venerable for their 
antiquity, fell into the hands of savage mercenaries and their leaders, who 
either gave them away to venal persons, or carried on the lowest traffic of 
usury with the sacred property. 

The increase of current money, caused by the coining of the plundered 
consecrated gifts, increased the already prevailing enervation, and degradation 
of morals ; and the destruction of the temple treasure, which had served as a 
kind of deposit fund and treasury, gave a heavy blow to trading relations and 
to public credit, and brought all the money resources into the hands of money- 
changers and usurers. 

Philip now began rapidly to extend his kingdom. Already during the 
Phoksean war he had conquered Torone and other Greek towns in Chalkidice 
and razed them to the ground ; he had then, after a three years' siege, sub- 
dued by force and treachery the wealthy town Olynthos, which could bring 
10,000 heavily-armed infantry and i,ooo horsemen into the field, transformed 
the town into a heap of ruins, and either sold the citizens and inhabitants into 
slavery, or established them in distant parts of Thrace (348) ; Ambrakia also 
was soon taken, and rendered safe by a Macedonian garrison, in 342 ; the 
Greek towns on the sea-coast were completely reduced to submission, and 
the inhabitants partly removed to the interior of the country, while a Mace- 
donian and barbarian population entered into the" abodes of Hellenic civiliza- 
tion ; the Thracian princes, especially Kersobleptes, who was a friend of the 
Athenians, were conquered and made dependent ; and by the subjugation of 
Byzantium and Perinthos or Herakleia, Philip endeavoured to open a way 
to the coast countries of the Hellespont and the Propontis. But this last 
design was frustrated. The patriotic-minded orator, Demosthenes, prevailed 
on the Athenians to take the part of the threatened towns ; and with the sup- 
port of Rhodes, Chios, and Mitylene, to afford them, in 339, such vigorous 
assistance, that Philip was compelled at last to desist from the siege. 




Destructon of Greek Liberty. 

BEFORE ^schines retired from Athens 
to Rhodes, he had an opportunity of 
rendering an important service to his distin- 
guished patron Fhihp, who had won his alle- 
giance by friendly overtures and presents. The 
Locrians of Amphissa were accused, as the 
Phokseans had been at an earlier period, of 
having seized on and brought under the plough 
a piece of land consecrated to the Apollo of 

The Amphictyonic council, in which yEs- 

chines was present as an Athenian delegate, 

imposed a heavy fine on the guilty people in 

339 ; and as payment was not forthcoming, the 

carrying out of the punishment was, at his suggestion, delegated to the 

Macedonian king, as the most powerful member of the league. 

Thereupon King Philip, who had just returned from a victorious ex- 
pedition against the Scythians on the Danube, hastened to Greece, conquered 
and punished Amphissa, and gave the Knissxan plains, the subject of dispute, 
back to the temple of Delphi. He then unexpectedly occupied the strong 
town of Elateia, which was the key to Boeotia. This bold stroke startled the 



Athenians out of their indifference, and procured a hearing for the patriotic 
words of Demosthenes. He himself, in the character of an Athenian ambas- 
sador, brought about an alHance with Thebes, and procured the fitting out of 
a considerable military armament. But the untrained, hastily collected, and 
inefficiently commanded troops, could not withstand the martial skill of the 
Macedonian phalanx, superior in numbers and practised in war. In spite of 
the bravery of the sacred band of Thebes, whose members perished in a body 
on the field of combat, Philip won, in 338, the Battle of Chasronea, which put 
an end for ever to Greek freedom. At Chasronea, Philip's son, Alexander, 
a heroic youth of nineteen years, gave the first proofs of his talent as a 
general and his courage as a soldier. His tent stood on the left bank of the 
Kephisos, under an oak-tree, which in Plutarch's time still bore the name of 
the great son of king Philip. 

For the rest, the Macedonian king, after a short joyous transport of intoxi- 
cated delight, treated the Greeks, and particularly the Athenians, — who by 
vigorous warlike preparations and immense plans of fortification betrayed a 
serious intention of resisting with something of the old Hellenic courage any 
attack on their city, — in a kind and friendly spirit, that he might accustom 
them to Macedonian rule. For he harboured the design of attacking, at the 
head of the collective Greek states, the effete empire of the Persians ; and for 
this purpose called together a national assembly at Corinth in 337, with 
intent to conclude a Hellenic peace and league under Macedonian leader- 
ship, and prepared for the expedition. He had already been appointed chief 
commander, and the number of troops to be contributed by each state had 
been fixed, when, at the "summit of prosperity," at the brilliant marriage 
festival of his daughter at Aigx, the sepulchral town of the Macedonian 
kings, he was murdered, by an oftended member of his body-guard, Pausanias, 
in 336 ; either out of personal revenge, or, as many have surmised, at the 
instigation of Olympias, the repudiated wife of Philip. The murderer was 
slain on the spot by the enraged soldiers, and thus no explanation could 
be obtained from him. Olympias, however, honoured the criminal's memory, 
and immediately afterwards caused both Philip's second wife, the beautiftil 
Cleopatra, and her young son to be killed. 







B.C. 336-323. 

XEssiox OF Alexander the Great. — Education and Character, 
— Conflict with the Barbarians of the Hcemu.s or Balkan. 
— Conquest of Thebes in Bceotia. — Efforts of Demosthenes. 
— Alexander's War against Persia, and Overthrow of the 
Persian Empire. — Gradual Degeneracy of Persia. — Revolt of 
Phcexicia. — Condition of Egypt and of Asia Minor.^ — Com- 
mencement OF the War, b.c. 334. — Pas.sage of the Hellespont. 
— Battle of the Granicus. — Gordium and the Gordian Knot. 
— Alexander and His Physician Philippus. — Darius Codo- 
mannus Encounters Alexander. — Battle of Issus, b.c. 333. 
— Alexander and Parmenio. — Submission of Palestine and 
Phcenicia. — Resistance of Tyre. — The Memorable Siege, b.c. 
332.— Egypt Spared on its Submission. 

The First Exploits of Alexander. 

" Though Alexander's urn a show be grown 
On shores he wept to conquer, though unknown — 
How vain, how worse than vain, at length appear 
The madman's wish, the Macedonian's tear.'' 

Byron's ''''Age of Bronze." 

rHE Fnistratcd Insurrections of the Greeks. 
After Philip's death, his high-spirited son 
Alexander, a man keenly susceptible to every- 
thing that was great and noble, ascended the 
Macedonian throne at the age of one-and- 
twenty years. He had been educated by the 
great philosopher Aristotle, and had been 
made familiar with Greek culture ; he conse- 
quently remained throughout his life a friend 
and admirer of Greek art and Hterature. So 
soon as Alexander had established himself 
in his government, he was appointed, like 

commander-in-chief against the Persians ; but in such a way that, 


is father, 






in accordance with the Corinthian treaties, all the Hellenic states an^ 
towns were to remain free and independent, subject to no taxation, and onl; 
obliged to send soldiers for service in the army. 

First, he had, however, to maintain a severe conflict with the Getse anAji 
other barbarous nations, who invaded his country from the mountainou 
region of the Haemus. Then there suddenly resounded in Greece a fals 
rumour of his death, which inspired the Hellenes with the hope of agaiiljr] 
obtaining their independence. Preparations were made in the Peloponnesus; 
in Athens, the exciting orations of Demosthenes, who, crowned with flower 
and in festive attire, had made known Philip's tragic death, were receive^ 
with great approval ; and at Thebes part of the Macedonian garrison wer 
killed, and the rest were besieged in the citadel. But with the speed of lightloi 
ning Alexander hastened to the spot. Thebes was conquered (336 B.C.) ; an( j) 
as the Boeotian confederate towns, who were consulted as to the sentence 
and who had suffered much from the dominating town, insisted on a sever, jti 
punishment, the houses and walls of the doomed city were levelled with thi jsi 
ground, its property was divided among the conquerors, and the inhabitants 
thirty thousand in number, except the priests and the Macedonian guests, weri 
sold with their wives and children into slavery, and scattered over the whoL 
land. Only the fortress, the house and family of the poet Pindar, and thi 
temples and sanctuaries of the gods were spared. A Macedonian guard iii 
the solitary citadel protected the temples and graves of the dead. Th 
restored towais, Orchomenos, Thespiae, and Platsea, divided the district a 
the town among them. This hard fate, the bitter retribution for many pas 

offences of the Thebans, terrified tht 
rest of the Greeks. The Athenians 
who with anxious souls perceivec 
the Macedonian watch-fires on th 
Cithseron, begged for grace ; and th( 
conqueror, who soon repented hi 
severity, allowed himself to be pro 
pitiated. On Demacles' remon 
strance he desisted from his first de 
mand, that ten Athenian citizens,— 
among them Demosthenes, — shoulc 
be given up to him 
full pardon. 

This leniency, and the kindnes 
shown by Alexander, on the Persiar 
expedition, to the Hellenes, anc 
especially to the Athenians, pre- 
vented the latter people from joining 
in the rising of the Spartans, — whc 
alone had not sent deputies to the 
assembly in Corinth, — and of othei 
Peloponnesians against Antipatcr 
who had been left behind by Alex- 
ander as governor of Macedonia. 
Consequently, after the bloody battle 
of Megalopolis (330), in which tht 

and he grantee 


Spartan king Agis H., a man ol 
ancient Dorian vigour and sentiment 

led a hero's death with 5,000 of his followers, Alexander succeeded in over- 
jming the dangerous insurrection. To the Spartans, who begged for peace, 
le king, now at the height of his prosperity, once more granted mercy and 

But when, shortly before his death, Alexander took Samos, in 324, from 
le Athenians, — (they excited his anger by receiving his unfaithful treasurer 
[arpalos, who had absconded with immense sums of money,) — -and when 
announced, at the time of the games at Olympia, that all fugitive and 
anished Greeks were to return to their own homes, they also, like most of 
le other states of Hellas, took up arms against Antipater, for the assertion 
f Greek independence, — which resulted in the Lamian war. Demosthenes, who 
liortly before, on an allegation that he had received a bribe from Harpalos, 
ad been compelled by the Macedonian party to fly to yEgina, was now 
rought back with honour from his voluntary banishment, that the man whose 
lithful devotion to his country had been recognised by the Athenians, might 
ssist the comxmonwealth by his efforts and counsel in those difficult times. 







Alexander's visit to the philosopher diogenes. 

Overthrow of the Persian Kingdom (b.c. 334-33o)- 

Condition of Things in Persia. — Under king Artaxerxes II., Mnemo; 
(404-3 59), the Persian kingdom declined more and more. While the court, wit 
its luxury and immorality, its feminine intrigues and cruelties, afforded a terri 
ble picture of Oriental depravity, in which every vice and every evil passio: 
reigned unchecked, and human degeneracy showed itself in every form, ther 
prevailed in the interior of the kingdom a wild disorganization, which showe< 
itself sometimes in the form of despotism of the rulers, sometimes as anarch; 
among the people, and from which resulted oppression, insurrections, and hor 
rible deeds of blood. 

Different states and provinces liberated themselves, and the " great Sultan 
at Susa had not the power to reduce them to obedience ; in others, satraps, o 
enterprising princes, ruled despotically and powerfully, either independent)} 
or as tributaries and vassals of the "great king." An accumulation of state: 
without common rights, regular administration, or constituted connection, th( 
Persian monarchy was irretrievably gravitating to its ruin. The simple ligh 
and fire worship of old times was replaced by a ceremonial worship conductec 
by priests with temples, idols, and ostentatious sacrifices ; and a torpic 
Pharisaism, with rites of purification and superstitious regulations and customs 
superseded the ethical power and the ennobling influence of the old populai 
religion. Thus the kingdom appeared in every respect as a tottering struc- 
ture that only needed a powerful shock to shatter it into fragments. Wher 
Artaxerxes II., after a reign of five-and-forty years, was despatched fron 
the world by poison, his son Artaxerxes III., Ochus, came to the throne, anc 


ei'gned from 359 to 338 ; under whom the Egyptian eunuch Bagoas, a mon- 
ter in human form, had, as first minister and general, the whole government 
n his hands. The kingdom would already then have been dissolved into its 
eparate elements, had not the bloodthirsty king and his terrible associate, 
vith the assistance of numerous troops of mercenaries and enterprising 
eaders of hordes and bands of Greek descent, again obtained the mastery over 
he revolted districts. 
Phoenicia freed itself from the supremacy of Persia, re-established the old 
|||:onstitution of the league, and made Tripolis the general capital (350); but 
he terrible fall of Sidon, — on which occasion 40,000 people died a voluntary 
ieath in the flames in order to save themselves and their relatives from tor- 
ures and ill-treatment, and the town was reduced to a heap of ruins, — made 
he remaining towns submissive, and established the Persian power anew in 
;he Syrian country by the Lebanon. 
Similar occurrences took place in Egypt, where Nektanabis II. of Memphis, 
the son of Tachos, to whose assistance Agesilaus had once gone forth, and 
[the grandson of that Nektanabis I., who, in conjunction with Euagoras of 
5^prus, had, in the reign of Artaxerxes Mnemon made himself independent 
bf Persia — succumbed, after several victorious battles, to the martial skill of 
the mercenary army, and was compelled to fly to Ethiopia (349) ; whereupon 
Ochus and Bagoas surpassed in fury, rapacity, and cruelty even the misdeeds 
of Cambyses. In Asia Minor the terrible brothers, Mentor and Memnon of 
Rhodes, the skilful but faithless and evil-minded leaders of hordes, exercised 
a power destructive alike to Hellenes and Barbarians. In those unhappy 
"times, the diabolical element in man had reached its deliberate and perfect 
activity ; and purity, nobility, conscience, and the aversion for crime and dis- 
honour which usually exist even in the wicked, had entirely disappeared. 

But the union of the evil-minded is seldom of long duration. After a 
reign of twenty-one years, Ochus, with his whole household, was poisoned 
oilby Bagoas, who could not forgive the Persian tyrant for violating the Egyp- 
tian sanctuaries ; and then, after a short interregnum, Darius Codomannus, 
a man of gentle disposition, endowed with warlike courage and domestic 
[virtues, was invested with the royal authority. This king reigned from 336 
r( to 330. From the terrible Bagoas, who sought to take his life also, he freed 
;(|himself by means of the poisoned cup which the miscreant had prepared for 
him ; and then carried on a moderate, and, so far as the distracted state of 
affairs admitted, a just government ; so that many distinguished Greeks, 
in order to escape the Macedonian tyranny at home, entered the service of 
the Persian army. But the end of the great monarchy was approaching with 
rapid steps. Darius had to pay the penalty for the misdeeds of his predeces- 

It was in the spring of the year 334 B.C. that Alexander set forth on 
the expedition against Persia, with a small but brave army, commanded by 
the best generals, Perdiccas, Clitus, Parmenio, Hephasstion, Craterus, Ptole- 
mffius, Antigonus, and others. The chief strength of it consisted in the 
heavily-armed infantry of the Macedonians and Greeks ; Macedonian and 
Thessalian horsemen covered the flanks, while Illyrian and Thracian archers 
i and light-armed troops served as skirmishers and spies. Historians, and 
I learned men of every description, such as Anaximenes, Callisthcnes, Aristo- 
bulus, and others, were in the retinue of the king. While crossing the Helles- 
pont, Alexander, standing at the helm of his royal ship, oftered libations to 
the gods of the sea out of a golden goblet. When they reached the green 



strand, he hurled his lance from the high deck on to the Asiatic shore ; an^ 
then, equipped in full armour, was the first to spring down on the beach. Of 
the spot where the sacred Ilium had stood, he offered sacrifices to Jupite 


and his warlike daughter, Pallas Athene, exchanged his weapons for the oldl 
ones that were said to have been used in the sacred war, and celebrated thdt 
memory of the heroes by games and contests of skill. Achilles was his 
model ; and accordingly he always carried the poems of Homer about with 
him. By this means he awakened national feeling, the desire of fame and 
love of glory among the Greeks, while he knew how to excite the admiration 
of the Macedonians by his martial ardour, his bravery, and warlike skill ; and 
what such an army led by such a leader could achieve, was shown in the 
first battle, that on the little river Granicus. in 334, when the much more 
numerous forces of tl>e Persians were defeated in a hot conflict of cavalry, 
and the king himself, through his fiery courage, was near losing his life. A 
Persian general had already raised his sword to cut Alexander down, when 
Clitus, with a mighty blow, struck off the uplifted arm of the barbarian. 
The Comrades who fell in this glorious strife were honoured by the erection 
of statues, and to their parents was granted immunity from taxation and 
from service. 

The western part of Asia Minor, as far as the Taurus mountains, was the 
fruit of the victory, — which Alexander himself, in a letter to the Athenians, 
described as gained by the united valour of Macedonians and Greeks. The 
governor of Lydia submitted without resistance, and opened the gates of 
Sardis ; Halicarnassus, which was bravely and skilfully defended by mer- 



cenary troops under the generalship of Memnon, was taken by storm ; and 
the remaining Hellenic towns for the most part voluntarily surrendered, 
and gladly greeted the hero of a kindred race, who promised to re-establish 
the old democratic constitution. Alexander placed the highest value on his 


Greek descent, displaying himself with a certain ostentation as a Hellene, and 
thus wished to make it appear that he undertook the expedition against 
Persia as an act of vengeance and retribution for the destruction of Greek 
towns and temples in former days ; and the majority of the Greeks joined all 
the more willingly in the undertaking, because a portion of the fame and 
renown which already illumined the head of the hero, would thereby be made 
to fall on the whole nation. Lesbos, Chios, and other islands soon fell 
into Alexander's power, when the energetic Memnon, who had endeavoured 
with Persian money to rouse the Spartans and other Greek states against 
the Macedonians, suddenly died ; and the alien populations of Asia Minor, 
Lycians, Paniphylians, and Karians, who bore an affinity to the Hellenes in 
language, religion, and civilization, also did homage to him, when he marched 
in the winter through the southern coast-country ; and he allowed them to 
retain their accustomed institutions. In the Phrygian town of Gordium, 
which had been appointed as the meeting-place of all the various divisions 
ot troops, he cut asunder with his sword the ingenious knot on the ancient 
chariot of the legendary king Midas, with the loosening of which knot an 
oracle had connected tlie sovereignty of Asia; and he then proceeded by 
dangerous marches through the mountainous country of Cilicia, where, by a 
cold bath in the river Cydnus he brought on himself a severe illness, — recover- 
ing his health solely through the skill of the Greek physician Philippus, and 
his own faith in human virtue, which made him place himself entirely in his 



physician's hands. A letter from Parmenio, in Tarsus, had warned him 
against Philippus, alleging that the latter was in the pay of the enemy and 
intended to poison him. Without wavering in his confidence, Alexander took 
the healing draught, while at the same time he handed to the physician the 
letter containing the false accusation. Philippus, strong in the consciousness 
of his own entire innocence, effected his master's speedy recovery by his consci- 
entious care and cheerful conversation. 

And now at length Darius Codomannus, who had too long tarried care- 
lessly in his golden palace at Susa, and had neglected to occupy the mountain 
passes, came forth to meet the Macedonian king with an immense army of 
foot and horse soldiers and chariots, and drew up his host in battle array 
in the neighbourhood of the passes leading from Cilicia to Syria. Then 
Alexander, who had already advanced through the " Syrian gates " towards 


the coast town Myriandros, quickly retraced his steps ; and in the great battle 
at Issus (333) completely defeated the numerically superior force of the 
enemy. Those who did not fall were either driven to headlong flight or 
taken prisoners. The unfortunate king, who was worthy of a better fate, fled 
with the scattered remains of his cowardly army, among whom only the 
Greek mercenaries had shown anything like valour, into the interior of his 
country, — while Alexander prepared to subdue Palestine and Phcenicia, that 
he might not leave those important countries unconquered in his rear ; and 
his general, Parmenio, gained possession of wealthy Damascus with the royal 
treasure. The booty taken at the battle of Issus, comprising gold and silver 
vessels and utensils, and costly carpets, was enormous, as was also the numbar 
of prisoners; — among whom were the mother, wife, and two daughters of Darius, 
These were treated by the victor with all the respect and consideration 
due to their rank. Darius, bowed down by the weight of the great disaster, 



offered the victor all Hither Asia, and the hand of his daughter, as the price 
of peace, besides an immense ransom for his mother, and for his queen, the 
most beautiful woman in Persia ; but the Macedonian king proudly rejected 
the offer. " If I were Alexander," said Parmenio, " I would put an end to 
the war at such a price." " So would I," was the reply, " if I were Parmenio." 
He aspired to nothing less than the conquest and possession of the whole 
of the East. 

Palestine and Phoenicia submitted without resistance ; Tyre alone, proudly 
cherishing the memories of its ancient greatness, and confident in its strong 
position, haughtily rejected the summons to surrender. Then Alexander 
undertook the memorable siege of Tyre, which lasted seven months. From 
the continent to the island town he caused a dam to be constructed, with 
towers, from which the soldiers, with projectiles and every mechanical means, 
endeavoured to overcome the town ; while the ships of the subdued coast-towns 
and of the islands of Rhodes and Cyprus — for in the previous year, in the 
proud confidence of victory, the Macedonian fleet had been disbanded — block- 
aded the island town on the side of the sea. But the Tyrians frustrated his 
plans by ingenious devices, such as stretching chains beneath the surface of the 
water to keep out his ships, and oftered a desperate resistance. Consequently 
Tyre also paid a heavy penalty, when it was at last compelled to yield, 
332 B.C. Those of the inhabitants who had not escaped or been killed, were 
sold into slavery, and the greater part of the town was levelled with the ground ; 
and in order to give another direction to the trade of the world, the king, 
after the conquest of Egypt, established, on a branch of the Nile, the city of 
Alexandria, which he, with true prescience, foresaw was destined, by reason 
of its favourable position, soon to become the central point of commerce and 
of all the culture and literature streaming from the West to the East. Gaza, 
the strong, well fortified, and bravely defended border town, experienced a 
similar fate to that of Tyre. On the other hand, Egypt, — which had submitted 
voluntarily, and, out of hatred and detestation of the Persians, greeted the 
Macedonians as deliverers, — was treated with forbearance and indulgence, its 
religious and civil institutions, customs, and peculiarities being respected, that 
Alexander's plans of blending the Greek and Egyptian civilization might the 
more easily be accomplished. The enlightened scholar of Aristotle spared 
and respected the religious superstitions and primitive forms of worship of 
the stubborn people of the Nile Valley. 




(331-323, B.C.) 

The Conqueror in His Glory. — The Great Victory of Arbela. 
— Destruction of Persepolis. — Death of Darius Codomannus, 
AND End of the Persian Empire. — Alexander's Designs. — His 
Marriage. — Treason of Parmenio. — Death of Clitus. — Alex- 
ander's Expedition to India. — Porus and His Allies. — Discon- 
tent OF the Macedonians. — Enforced Return of the Con- 
queror. — The March Across the Desert. — Sufferings and 
Losses of the Army. — Last Years of Alexander's Life. — Re- 
volt OF THE Veterans. — Feud of Dionysos at Ecbatana. — 
Death of HEPH^iSTioN. — ^Death of Alexander at Babylon. — 
Nature of His Enterprises. 

FROM Memphis, Alexander under- 
took the difficult and danger- 
ous expedition to the oasis of Siwah, 
flourishing with palm-forests, meadows, 
and cornfields, and with the sparkling 
Fountain of the Sun, — to the far-famed 
oracle temple of Jupiter- Ammon, whose 
priests declared him to be a son of 
the god ; an assertion which procured 
him great consideration in the eyes of 
the superstitious, imaginative Eastern 
people, and invested his appearance 
with the glory of a divine consecra- 
tion. Soon the story arose that the 
god had appeared to Olympias at her 
marriage, in the form of a dragon, and 

had become the father of the conquering hero. 




Alexander had designedly allowed the Persian king time to collect fresh 
troops, intending to put an end to him when the time came, with one decisive 
blow. After he had established in Egypt a new administration and taxation, 
partly under native, and partly under Macedonian and Hellenic officers, he 
started with his army, strengthened by new reinforcements, to continue his 
expedition by way of Tyre and Damascus towards the East, crossed the ; 
Euphrates without difficulty near Thapsacus, and the Tigris near the present 
town of Mosul, on bridges of boats, and with a force only one-twentreth of 
theirs in number, defeated the countless armed forces of the Persians, who 
had collected from the far eastern countries, in the Babylonian plains, in the 
battles of Arbela and Gangamela (Oct. 331), not far from the ruined but 
once world-famous city of Nineveh. The desperate attack of the Macedonian 
hero, who, at the head of the boldest horsemen of the right wing, broke the 
enemy's centre and compelled Darius to fly, decided the issue of the battle. 
The conquest of Babylon, with its fruitful plains cultivated like gardens, and 
likewise the capture of the ancient capitals, Susa, Persepolis, and Ecbatana, 
with their incalculable treasures, was the fruit of this brilliant victory. The 
ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae, where stood the primitive royal citadels 
of the Acha^menides, and the rock graves of Cyrus and Darius Hystaspes, 
still bear witness to the ancient splendour of this region, the cradle of the 
royal race of Persia, which met its doom at the hands of the proud victorious 
hero of Macedon. After a luxurious banquet, — , 

" The royal feast for Persia v;on. 
By Philip's warHke son," 

Alexander himself, at the head of a riotous band, urged on by the beautiful 
Attic dancer, Thais, is said with his own hand .to have thrown the fire-brand 
into the splendid buildings of Persepolis, — 

"And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy," 

in order to avenge the burning of Athens and the insult offered to the 
Hellenic sanctuaries. It was the last vengeance in an old hereditary feud. 
Persepolis was regarded as the head and ruling city of the Persian kingdom; 
its destruction marked the commencement of a new era and a new system 
of polity, with other manners and customs. 

When Darius received intelligence that Alexander had made his way 
through the difficult rocky passes of the mountainous country of Persia, and 
had conquered Susa, the gold-adorned citadel of the Cissians, and Persepolis, 
the lofty gate of the Achsemenides, and had then marched into Media for 
further prosecution of the war, he, fled, despairing of his fortune, from Ecba- 
tana, the pleasant summer residence of the Persian kings, into the mountainous 
country of Bactria, but was there slain by the murderous hand of the faithless 
governor, Bessus, with whom were some treacherous nobles, in the year 
330 B.C. Alexander mourned the fate of his unfortunate opponent, and caused 
the murderer, — who had assumed the regal title, but was soon conquered and 
taken prisoner by the Macedonians in Sogdiana, — to be brought before a 
tribunal of native nobles at Samarkand, and to be crucified as a traitor, 
according to the Persian custom. When the corpse of Darius had been laid 
in the burial vault of his ancestors, the Macedonian hero-king was regarded 
by the Persians as the unfortunate monarch's heir and successor. 



Alexander's Designs ; His Marriage ; Treason of Parmenio ; 

Death of Clitus. 

AFTER the most arduous marches over 
, the snow-covered Hinduku moun- 
tains, the Indian Caucasus, where great 
numbers of the soldiers perished from 
hunger and fatigue, the vaHant conqueror, 
during the next two years, 329 and 328 
B.C., succeeded in subduing the moun- 
tainous districts in the south-east of the 
Caspian Sea, and on the rivers Oxus and 
Jaxartes. These regions bore the names 
of Aria, Hyrcania, Bactria, and Sogdiana, 
and comprise the modern Turkestan, 
Afghanistan, etc. They were peopled by 
warlike, hardy races, Iranian in origin 
and religion. By laying out new high- 
ways, the king hero made these territories 
accessible, and succeeded in uniting them 
with the other subjugated countries. His 
lofty genius was not entirely bent on war 
and conquest ; he wished, by the power 
of Greek culture and forms of life, to make 
the wild warlike mountaineers amenable to 
the new order of things. 

But from the grafting of the enervated 





Hellenism of his time no 
enduring plant could be pro- 
duced. Thus, in that distant, strange 
Eastern world, the system the conqueror was bent on establishing came to no 
powerful development. The four newly-established towns, each of them called 
after him Alexandria, and by whose means Hellenic culture, art, and language 
were carried onward to these extreme boundaries of the known world, were 
henceforth the centres of the caravan trade, and are probably to be found in 
the present day, though under other names, as Herat, Candahar, etc. 

Alexander now celebrated his marriage with Roxane, daughter of the prince 
of Bactria, " the pearl of the eastern world," whom he had won as the reward 
of his boldest martial feat, after the storming of the strongest fortress, where 
the prince of the country had taken refuge with his women and treasures. 

This marriage was intended to be the sign that the strife between Hellas 
and Irania had ceased, and that both nations in future were to strive only 
in brotherly rivalry in the race of progress ; an idea to which he also gave 
expression in another manner. He had become the possessor of the throne by 
the death of Darius ; he wished in future to be in outward appearance, as he 
was in power, the great Persian king ; and therefore gradually adopted, more 
and more, the fashions and the ostentatious ceremonial of an oriental despot 
He gave audience to the Asiatics, attired in the Median royal robe and 
adorned with the royal diadem ; he received with satisfaction the prostrations 
and the idolatrous knee-worship of the East, and surrounded himself with 
Persian staff-bearers and courtiers. The subjugated nations were to see in 
him, not the conqueror, but the legitimate king. Therefore he took pains, 



by entering into the customs, ideas, and notions of the haughty, formal, and 
exclusive Orientals, to ingratiate himself with them, and to establish a friendly 
feeling. This behaviour offended the Macedonian nobles ; self-seeking and 
arrogant, they aspired to rule as despotic lords and governors over the sub- 
jugated countries, to impose the yoke of tyranny on the vanquished; and pro- 
ceeded to add to the despotism exercised by the former governors over their 
vassals, the unsettled spirit and tendency to sensual pleasure generally dis- 
played by rude conquerors. Only a few, like Hephsstion and Craterus, had 
the penetration, the self-denial, and the good feeling to enter into Alexander's 
plans and to promote their success ; the greater number among the leaders 
considered themselves slighted, and accused their mighty master of ingratitude. 
For years had they been compelled, they declared, to follow the flight of his 
ambition and of his lust for conquest, only to see at last the fruits of their 
victorious battles pass from their grasp into the hands of the vanquished. At 
the head of the malcontents was Parmenio, the old counsellor of caution, — who 
at Arbela had almost destroyed the whole plan of battle, — and his violent, 
imperious son, Philotas, the leader of the band of nobles. They aroused in 
the army a longing for home, in order that the expedition might come to an 
end, and the booty might be divided. At Prophthasia, in the country of the 
Drangians, in 329, a conspiracy was formed. It was discovered ; and as the 
investigation showed Philotas to have been cognizant of the plot, he was 
sentenced to death in the camp, and, according to the old Macedonian custom, | 
fell transfixed by the lances of his comrades in arms. And for fear that his 
father, Parmenio, who, with a strong garrison, was guarding the treasures at 
Ecbatana, might, on learning of this event, renounce his allegiance to the king, | 
two nobles received instructions to murder him also. They approached the 
unsuspecting man as he was taking his ease in the palace garden of the 
Median capital, and dealt him his death-wound. 

The following year, when Alexander was already preparing for the Indian 
expedition, a similar cause brought about another dark deed as its result. At 
a sacrificial feast at Marakanda in 328, the banquet was continued far into 
the night. Alexander, seated among his nobles, took part in it, and was 
extolled by Hellenic flatterers and sophists beyond all measure. This excited 
the wrath of Clitus, a hot-tempered warrior, who had saved the king's life at ' 
the Granicus. He used offensive words against the prince, which, in the 
increasing excitement of the moment, at last became bitterly insulting. 
Enraged at these expressions of contempt, the king at last seized a lance 
from the hand of a guard and hurled it at the general, who fell on the ground 
bathed in blood. The rash act of the angry king was followed by the 
deepest remorse. Filled with despair, Alexander threw himself on the corpse ; 
and he mourned for the dead man three days in his tent, nev^er sleeping, 
and refusing food and drink. The philosopher and rhetorical historian Callis- 
thenes by his censorious speech also forfeited the favour of the king. He 
was carried off in chains to India, where he fell a victim to a disease. 



.„ ' 

mm&M^^^ ^u 

The Expedition of Alexander to Indl\. 

It was towards the end of the spring of 327 that Alexander, with a large 
army of foot and horse, made up of various races, quitted the mountainous 
territory of Bactria and Sogdiana, and advanced towards the Cabul river, or 
Kophen, and the Indus. Great obstacles had the army to overcome, and many 
a conflict to wage with the forces of nature and with warlike nations, before 
it could knock at the " bolted gates " of Hindustan. 

When Alexander had taken by storm the mountain fortress which was called 
Aornos, sicfnifvino; it was higher than even the flight of a bird could reach, he 
was declared to have outdone even the deeds of Hercules. The name of 
Alexander was now associated more than ever with that world-conquering 
hero, by the flattering Hellenes ; and his Indian expedition Avas compared to 
the victorious march of Dionysos. Thus the expedition to the mysterious 
and marvellous land of gold — an undertaking which was to form the completion 
of the romantic giant-structure of his might — was invested with the glamour 
of mythical tradition. The warlike inhabitants of the mountainous country, 
however, enflamed by their faqueers and priests, made a more vigorous 
resistance to the conqueror of the world than had ever been done by the 
cowardly subjects of the Persian king. More than once, at the storming of a 
strong fortress, Alexander's life was greatly in jeopardy. But the mutual 
jealousies of the many petty princes of the land of the five rivers, the Punjaub, 
facilitated the operations of the Macedonians. Immediately after Alexander 
had crossed the Indus, near where the fortress town of Attock now stands, many 
of them, and in particular the wealthy ruler of Taxila, joined with him against 
Porus, the powerful king of the country east of the Hydaspes (or Jelum). The 
passage of this river in the face of the enemy, and the subsequent battle in 
the year 326, in which the elephants played a part, and where the brave and 
noble Porus was wounded and taken prisoner, and twenty thousand corpses of 
Indians covered the battle-field, are among the greatest martial achievements 
of ancient times. Two newly established towns, Bucephala, so named in 
honour of Alexander's famous war-horse that had fallen in the strife, and 
Nicaea, the town of victor}^ were to open these lands also to Greek civilization. 

By arduous marches Alexander pressed forward still further towards the 
east, and penetrated as far as the Hyphasis, on the boundary of the Punjaub. 
He was again successful; and was already making preparations to add the. 
countries of the Ganges, valuable by their great fruitfulness, civilization, and 
ancient splendour, to his great kingdom, when the Macedonians raised so 



loud a murmur of discontent, that Alexander, though with an inward struggle, 
turned his face towards home, whither they clamorously demanded to be led 
Twelve great altars of stone, rising tower-like on the banks of the river, were 
intended to indicate the eastern boundary of the expedition of conquest ; and 
buried weapons and implements of immense size were to awaken in posterity 
the belief that a " giant race " had once pressed forward to this spot. 

After Alexander had given back their lands to Porus and the other princes 
who were allied with him, to be held under Macedonian supremacy, — after 
subjugating, at great risk to his own life, the warlike Mallean nation, in a 
daring expedition, and founding a town on the boundary of the land of the 
five rivers, — he sailed down the Indus in ships which he had caused to be 
built on the Hydaspes, with the intention of striking out another route for 
the return journey, to open up the unexplored countries of the southern 


world, and to procure fresh outlets for the united trade and commerce of the 
west and east, — which was to have its chief support and place of transit in the 
town of Pattala, on the delta of the Indus, fortified and furnished by him with; 
harbours and docks. 

The enterprise which had been thus prompted by the heroic spirit ot 
Alexander, had a disastrous result. While his skilful naval commander, 
Nearches, sailed along the coast of the present Beloochistan, in 325, the king 
marched with his troops through the terrible desert of Gedrosia, the " land of 
poverty," full of hot red sand, that whirled in columns, and was heaped up in 
drifts, — where the piercing heat of the sun, the tortures of burning thirst in an 
unwatered plain, and the most terrible hunger and exhaustion during the 
march, in two months carried off three-fourths of the army. Though at the 
beginning of their march through the long, solitary stretch of sandy country | 
a few scattered groups of palms were found, that here and there afforded an 



occasional shade against the glowing heat of the sun, — and blossoming tamarisk 
myrrli and nard-bushes, of whose fragrant leaves the soldiers formed couches 
on which they threw themselves at night, and whose precious juice was 
collected and carried on the camels by the Phcenician merchants, who followed 
the expedition in crowds, — all vegetation soon came to an end as the army 
entered the sandy desert. The heroic warriors, who had defied the sword and 
lance in many a battle, and escaped ths arrows and missiles of the enemy in 
many an assault, could not stand against the horrors of the parched, unwatered 
wilderness, — partly from the pangs of hunger and fatigue, partly from the 
hardships of the climate, the piercing sun, the clouds of hot, eye-inflaming 
sand by day, and the chilling frosts at night. The soldier, abandoning every 
purpose but the one hope of saving his life, threw all discipline and obedience 


to the winds, flung away with utter indifference his costly booty in gold 
silver, precious stones, and tapestries ; and fought with his comrades for the 
scanty supply of water from the springs which they here and there dis- 
covered. The sturdy Phoenician trader alone maintained his composure 
amid all the confusion, his acquisitive mind intent on gain ; he obtained from 
the starving soldiers tlie most valuable portion of their plunder in exchange 
for meat and drink. Alexander intrepidly took his share of all the difficulties 
and dangers of the march, like the meanest soldier of his army ; and rewarded 
the survivors with gifts and festivals, in the fruitful and wealthy oasis town of 
Para, — where indeed the indulgence in luxuries was as excessive as the former 
privation had been hard. Richly furnished with provisions, they then proceeded 
on their march through the populous country of Karamania, where Nearches^ 



after a voyage full of dangers and marvels along the barren, inhospitable 
shore, effected a junction with the main body of the army. 

The Last Years of Alexander's Life, 

AFTER his return, Alexander punished the 
^ unjust governors and officials, who, dur 
ing his absence, had practised much extortion 
and oppression ; and then vigorously pursued 
the plan of bringing about a friendly feeling 
between the conquered and conquering na- 
tions, and of welding them into one com 
munity with Greek civilization. By the offer 
of liberal presents, he promoted marriages' 
between his generals and warriors and 
daughters of the land, and he himself wedded 
a daughter of Darius. 

A great marriage festival at Susa, lasting! 
five days, at which over io,ooo Macedonians 
were present with Persian women to celebrate 
the brilliant nuptials of their mighty chief, was intended to form the key-stonei 
of his great design of the union and fusion of nations. By this act Alexander 
again offended the Macedonians and Greeks, who held that the victors ought, 
to maintain dominion over the conquered. The lofty idea of a universal 
kingdom, ennobled by Greek culture, and prospering by trade and industry, 
with equal rights for all, was to them incomprehensible. The Macedonian i 
army was not penetrated or influenced by any idea of the dominion of 
the world. Amid the wealth of Asia, and in the excitement of conquest, 
fame, and dominion, the warriors had lost their old primitive simplicity of 
character; while they had not attained to the height of culture which 
might have fitted them for the great task of establishing permanent states on- 
foundations of solid strength. 

When, accordingly, Alexander selected young men from among the natives, 
and, after they had been armed and exercised in the Macedonian fashion, 
introduced them into the army of the kingdom ; — when he increased the 
Macedonian band of nobles by introducing Parthian and Iranian knights, and 
even included Persian nobles in his own retinue, the pride of the Macedonians 
was deeply wounded ; — they probably foresaw that in time they would be no 
longer indispensable to the king, that he wished to secure himself against a 
repetition of occurrences similar to that at the Hyphasis, and that he desired to 
collect and increase his strength for fresh undertakings. The bitterness and 
exasperation increased more and more among the men, and at last broke out 
in open mutiny, when, in the camp at Opis, on the bank of the Tigris, the 
king announced his intention of dismissing the older soldiers to their homes, t 
With wild and angry shouts they then all demanded their discharge. Not 
till Alexander had caused some of the ringleaders to be drowned in the 
waters of the Tigris, — and then, with proud words, had bidden the others go 
where they pleased, and had withdrawn lifmself from their sight, — did the 
anger in their breasts give place to shame and penitence. They surrounded 
the castle, and loudly implored pardon and restoration to his favour. He 
compelled them to wait a long time for a hearing. At last he consented to 




'orgive them ; and dismissed the old warriors, to the number of 10,000, richly 
rewarded with presents and marks of honour, to the land of their fathers, 
jnder the command of the brave Craterus. This was in the year 324. 

Though Alexander had at first only surrounded himself with Persian 
:eremonial from motives of policy, he continued the system at a later period 
"rom love of Oriental grandeur ; and thus exemplified the fact that even noble 
ind gifted natures may easily lose their balance, when raised to the giddy 
leights of prosperity. His court at Babylon, which city he established as 
the metropolis and seat of sovereignty of his vast kingdom, shone with the 
3[reatest splendour ; magnificent embassies from Greece, Italy, and many other 
countries far and near, betook themselves to that court to render him homage, 
and extolled his mighty deeds in words of adulation ; while sumptuous feasts 
and banquets followed each other in rapid succession. Yet amid all this 
brilliant magnificence, he never lost sight of his project of establishing a 
vast monarchical kingdom of the world, with political freedom, and equal rights 
for all citizens of the state, with Hellenic customs, language, and civilization, 
and with an enlightened and complete system of government 

In order to procure new outlets for the commerce of the world, he went to 
Ecbatana in the autumn of 324. Here the great feast of Dionysos, with its 
sacrifices, processions, and conflicts on horseback, in chariots, and on foot, 
was celebrated with an excess of rivalry, feasting and banqueting, and a 
display of unexampled splendour. But the king's heart was not festively 
inclined. Hephasstion, the faithful friend of his youth, — to whom, under all 
circumstances he had remained unchangeably attached, like Achilles to 
Patroclus, — was seized with dangerous illness in the midst of the joyful feasts 


and banquets, in which he had taken part with too Httle discretion, and died 
in the prime of manhood. No heavier shock of fate could have fallen on 
Alexander ; it was the prelude to his own departure. The splendid funeral 
celebration which he held at Babylon in memory of his beloved friend, was 
one of the last acts of the hero. He had not ceased grieving for Hephsstion 
when a violent fever, brought on by excitement and excess, broke down his 
long failing vigour, and, in the midst of great schemes for new conquests in 
Arabia, caused his swift death in the year 323 B.C., in the palace garden of 
Nebuchadnezzar, before he had come to final decision as to his successor. To 
the question, to whom he wished to leave his kingdom, he is said to have 
answered : " To the most worthy." 

The bloody strife which broke out after his death, hindered the perform- 
ance of the funeral rites. Not till the following year was the corpse of the 
hero borne away from Babylon in a magnificent funeral car, that it might be 
deposited in the royal vault at yEgae. But Ptolemaeus, governor of Egypt, 
persuaded the leaders of the mournful procession to entrust the beloved 
remains to him, and had them buried in Alexandria, — that the land of the Nile 
might still be the resting-place of the tutelary deity, the imparter of blessing. 

Alexander continued to be the hero of poetry and tradition in the East 
and West. The romantic love of adventure that formed the chief feature in his 
character, and caused the most distant object to appear near and attainable, 
to one for whom the unusual and the extraordinary alone had charms ; his 
enthusiasm for the heroic world of Homer that had passed away, which he ] 
desired to draw forth from poetic twilight, wherein it was veiled, into the light 
of reality ; the charm of a youthful life occupied by an unbroken series of 
heroic deeds and mighty undertakings ; these qualities filled the world of his 
contemporaries and of posterity with astonishment and admiration, — and the 
very suddenness with which the brilliant star passed away, enhanced the glory 
that seemed to later generations to illuminate with its radiance the form of 
the hero. 

The chief effect of Alexander's expeditions of conquest, was to spread 
Greek culture and language, and European activity, throughout the Eastern 
world ; while, on the other hand, Oriental wealth, effeminacy, and luxury were 
introduced into Greece and Macedonia, and destroyed the moral vigour that 
had previously prevailed. Thu.s, from that time forward, Asia Minor and 
Egypt were the centres of all intellectual and literary effort, and all commerce 
and industry ; while the Hellenic land, whose culture and language gradually 
penetrated the whole Alexandrian, world, could only shine within itself with 
the latest blossoms of its art, with the treasures its activity had already accu- 
mulated, with its intellectual effort, and the memories of the grandeur of 
ancient days. Knowledge of countries a,nd nations was enlarged and cor- 
rected, and a new and more ingenious method of warfare was established, 
by the application of mathematical science. On the other hand, the use of 
elephants, which had been introduced into warfare since the Indian expedi- 
tion, was a retrograde movement in the direction of Oriental clumsiness. 

By means of the network of colonies which Alexander had spread over all 
Asia, trade and commerce received an impetus and extension such as they 
had never had before. The empiric and practical sciences, especially 
mathematics, mechanics, and natural history, on the enrichment and exten- 
sion of which Alexander had expended large sums, obtained a new form and 
a wider foundation ; on the other hand, art and refined literature declined 
more and more from their high position, notwithstanding that the great 




Macedonian hero testified his love and care for both, and endeavoured, by 
means of rich gifts, to incite artists, poets, and authors to the creation of 
immortal works. Plastic art, it is true, continued to maintain its technical 
elevation ; but the influence of the East, with its predilection for the gigantic, 
the fantastic, and the extravagant, soon made itself perceptible, as, for instance, 
in the Colossus at Rhodes. True poetry, which is a gift of the gods, no 
mortal can lure down from heaven by any earthly means. 

As Alexander left no successor capable of undertaking the government, 



but only an imbecile brother, Philip Aridaeus, and two infant children — 
indeed, the younger of them was not born till after its father's death — his 
empire fell to pieces again as quickly as it had been built up. The reported 
Avords of the dying king ; "Very martial games will be held in honour of my 
death," received speedy fulfilment. 



Perdiccas and Meleagros. — Cassander. — Antigonus. — Demetrius. — 
Supplementary Particulars. — Ptolem^.us. — The Gauls in 
Macedonia. — The Last Struggle of Greece. — The Achaian 
League. Battle of Cranon. — Death of Demosthenes. — Hype- 
rides. — Degeneracy of the Athenians. — Sparta. — Agis IV. and 
Cleomenes. — Aratus. — Antigonus Doson. — Ptolem^us. — Sparta 
once more Conquered. — Battle of Mantinea. — Philopcemen 
THE Last of the Greeks. — Roman Law. 

The Combats of the Generals. 

AFTER many bloody and horrible wars, in 
, which Alexander's whole family was 
destroyed, and all the ties of nature were 
shamefully violated, his generals seized the 
different countries for themselves, and raised 
them into independent kingdoms. 

At first the ambitious and imperious Per- 
diccas, a man who belonged to a princely 
family in the Macedonian district of Ore.stis, 
and to whom Alexander, when dying, had 
solemnly given his signet ring, received the 
greatest consideration. 

Having caused his rival, Meleagros, the 
commander of the infantry, with 300 of his 
followers, to be flung down and trampled to 
death under the feet of the elephants at a 
review, he obtained the dignity of an admini- 
strator of the kingdom for king Philip, the weak-minded brother of Alexander, 
and for the baby boy to whom Roxana soon afterwards gave birth, and whom 
the army joyfully greeted as the young king Alexander. When, however, 
Perdiccas, in conjunction with the brave and prudent Eumenes, the private 
secretary of the king, from the Greek town Cardia by the Chersonesus, made 
war on Ptolemaius, the governor of Egypt, in 321, to rob him of his country, 

he was himself murdered on the banks of the Nile by his mutinous soldiers ; 

289 ' u 



and Antipater, the harsh and severe ruler of Macedonia and Greece, was 
made administrator of the kingdom, and undertook a new division of the 
countries ; while he himself, with the king's family and his imperious and 
passionate son Cassander, tarried in the European hereditary land. 

In Asia, Antigonus, who was endowed with great talents for warfare, and 
his valiant son Demetrius, who subsequently, on account of his skill in the 
conduct of sieges and in fortification, received the surname of Poliorcetes, 
or besieger of towns, obtained the chief power. He sought to win over 
Eumenes, the steadfast champion of the rights of the Alexandrian royal 
house, to his side ; but when all his seductive wiles had proved vain against 
the honesty of the firm, strong-minded man, he carried on a war of several 
years against him, in which the " Cardian " showed as much courage as 
generalship. Craterus, the valiant veteran chief, whom Antigonus summoned 
to his aid, lost both the battle and his life in a violent combat with the Greek 
leader of the army, in 321. The war between Antigonus and Eumenes was 
not yet concluded when Antipater died, after having nominated the old and 
infirm Polysperchon, a petty prince of Epirus, who had formerly conducted 
the veterans home in conjunction with Craterus, as his successor in the 
regency of the empire ; this was in 319. Indignant at this slight, Antipater's 
haughty son, Cassander, allied himself with Antigonus and Ptolemseus, 
wrested the sovereignty of Macedonia and Greece by force of arms from his 
opponent, and then proceeded to punish Olympias, the turbulent-spirited 
mother of Alexander, who, during Polysperchon's administration, had filled 
up the measure of her crimes by the murder of king Philip Aridseus and his 
wife Eurydice, a grand-daughter of Philip I. ; she also slew many of the Mace- 
donian nobility. He caused her, in the year 316, to be sentenced to death, 
and stoned by the relatives of those she murdered. Without a cry or a moan 
the grey-headed queen fell to the ground, crushed beneath the shower of 
stones hurled at her. Her hair had been dressed as for a festival ; and sink- 
ing down, she spread her robe around her that she might fall as became a 

Cassander and Antigonus. 

Cassander now married Thessalonica, the sister of Alexander the Great ; 
he built the town of Thessalonica on the bay of Therma, and the town 
of Cassandrea in the rich territory of the destroyed Olynthus ; these were 
intended to preserve the names of himself and his wif^e to posterity. He 
restored Thebes, and ruled mightily over the Macedonian and Hellenic lands. 
Queen Roxana, and her youthful son Alexander, were kept for some years 
in close captivity by the terrible tyrant, and were then both stabbed to death 
by a murderer despatched for the purpose ; and the king caused them to be 
secretly buried (311). Thus died the once admired "Pearl of the East," — 
and two years later, the last off-shoot of Alexander, by an irregular union, 
Hercules, a boy of seventeen years, was murdered by means of a poisoned 
cup, offered to him at Cassander's instigation, by the miserable Polysperchon, 
at a banquet, in a small Hellenic town. In the meantime Eumenes, the most 
faithful and experienced general of the great king, whose tent and altar was 
the sacred hearth of the army, and the meeting-place of councils of war, had 
accomplished, in the far East, wonderful feats of arms against Antigonus. 
But, disliked as a "stranger," and despised as a "writer" by the warlike 
Macedonians, in their military pride, he fell at last through the black treachery 



of the warriors of the silver shield in his own army, and, with several of his 
comrades, was murdered in prison at the command of his rival, in 316. 

Antigonus was now ruler and master in Asia. He took possession of the 
treasure-chamber at Susa ; and increased the number of his mercenaries to such 
an extent, that he could bid defiance to the other generals, and compel them 
to recognise him as the administrator and ruler of the kingdom. As, how- 
ever, he allowed it to appear plainly enough, that he aimed at the sovereignty 
of the great Alexandrian empire, and deprived his ally, Seleucus, of the 
governorship of Babylon, distrust and the common danger caused his four 
principal generals — Ptolemaeus, Seleucus, Lysimachus (who had established 
himself in the possession of Thrace), and Cassander, in Macedonia — to unite 
in a league, in the year 312, against Antigonus and his son Demetrius. 


Thus arose a war, carried on with variable fortunes in Asia and Greece; during 
which contest Seleucus succeeded, after the victory at Gaza over Demetrius 
Poliorcetes, in obtaining with a small armed force the sovereignty in Babylon 
and the eastern provinces ; a feat which appeared so remarkable to his con- 
temporaries and to succeeding generations, that the year 312 was marked 
as the beginning of a new era, called the era of the Seleucid?e. On the other 
hand, Ptolemaeus experienced a great defeat by sea near the town of Salamis, 
in Cyprus, at the hand of Demetrius, in 306 ; whereupon Antigonus and his 
son assumed the royal title, an example which their opponents immediately 
followed. And herewith, after a long period of pretence and hypocrisy, the 
last step towards the dissolution of the Alexandrian kingdom was accom- 
plished. But an unsuccessful attack of Antigonus on Egypt, and the frus- 
trated attempt of Demetrius to conquer the heroically defended island of 
Rhodes, in 301, by means of immense engines of war, especially the famous 





Helcpolis, a tower of nine storeys with protecting roofs, kept the issue of the 
war doubtful for a few years ; until the great battle of Ipsus, in Phrygia, in 
which the hero Antigonus, then eighty years of age, was slain, and Demetrius 
fled, decided the fate of Asia in favour of the allies. While Demetrius roamed 
as an adventurous " sea-king " about the Greek waters and round the countries 
of the coast, his opponents undertook a new division of the country. It was 
a fearful and terrible period, adorned by no flower of poetry, and elevated by 
no trace of ideal aspiration. 

In Europe the war still continued ; and Demetrius even succeeded, after 
Cassander's death, in bringing under his dommion Macedonia and Greece, 
which were distracted by contentions for the throne between his sons ; and 
this sovereignty he maintained for seven years, from 294 to 287. But his 
presumption and thirst for conquest once more caused his overthrow. He 
made preparations to subjugate Asia anew ; but in the attempt he not only 
lost Macedonia to the brave and benevolent king Pyrrhus, of Epirus, but wao 
also driven to such extremities in Asia Minor by the united force of Lysima- 
chus, Seleucus, and Ptolemaeus, that he had no resource but to surrender. 

He sought protection from Seleucus, who kept him till his death in honour- 
able confinement at Apamea on the upper Orontes, allowing him every 
enjoyment, but rendering flight impossible by means of strict supervision. 
Dejection, luxury, and self-indulgence in a short time so undermined his 
splendid health, that already, in the third year of his captivity, he sank into 
his grave. At the age of fifty-four, the romantic and adventurous hero, whose 
traits of character sometimes remind us of the Middle Ages, was borne to his 
last rest, in the year 28t, B.C. His son, Antigonus Gonatas, nevertheless, after 
•varying fortunes, at length, in 275, obtained lasting possession of Macedonia. 
That country had been demoralized by horrible crimes, depopulated by 
incessant wars, and devastated by the invasions of the Celtic Gauls, who 
defeated king Ptolemaeus Ceraunus, and then filled the whole country with 
pillage, murder, and rapine, as far as the bay of Corinth. After many 
divisions and temporary governments, the following states were at length 
constructed out of the great empire of Alexander : — 

I. Macedonia and Greece. 

II. The Syrian kingdom of the Seleucidse. 

III. Egypt under the Ptolemies. 

IV. Pergamum, Bithynia, and some smaller states in Asia Minor. 

«,' ■--'■■'. '^ 



Supplementary Particulars. 

AFTER Cassander's death, 
. his two sons contended 
for the throne. The elder, An- 
tipater, murdered his mother, 
Thessalonica, the daughter of 
king PhiHp, the last member 
of the old Macedonian royal 
family, because he believed she 
favoured his brother Alexander. 
Thereupon the latter appealed 
for help to king Pyrrhus of 
Epirus, and to Demetrius Poli- 
orcetes, and with their assist- 
ance, compelled his brother to 
go into exile. But when An- 
tipater was murdered by his 
father-in-law, Lysimachus, with 

whom he had taken refuge, 

Alexander endeavoured to rid 
himself by stratagem of his ally, Demetrius, who refused to quit Macedonia. 
Demetrius however, contrived to anticipate the young prince's design, caused 
him to be murdered, and was then chosen king by the Macedonians ; and he 
attained his object all the more readily inasmuch as his wife, Phila, th(? 
daughter of Antipater, was related to the Macedonian royal house. 

He then repulsed Pyrrhus, and governed with harsh despotic tyranny ; 
until, in the endeavour to recover the rule over the Asiatic countries, he lost 
everything. After he had been defeated and taken prisoner, Pyrrhus and 
Lysimachus, in 287, divided the sovereignty of Macedonia between them ; 
but, urged on by love of conquest, the latter deprived his companion of his 
share, and then united Macedonia with his other possessions in Thrace and 
Asia Minor. 

But domestic misfortune brought about his fall. At the instigation of his' 
second wife, he caused his excellent son, Agathocles, to be murdered in 
prison by the fierce and passionate Ptolemaeus, surnamed Keraunos, or " the 
lightning," who had been deprived of his rights to the Egyptian succession by 
the intrigues of his ambitious stepmother, Berenice, in favour of his brother 
Ptolemy Philadelphus. Lysandra, the wife of the murdered Agathocles, fled 
immediately to Seleucus, and instigated him to wreak vengeance on the 
murderer. After gaining a decisive battle in the year 281, on the plain 
of Coropedion, in Phrygia, in which combat Lysimachus himself was killed, 
Seleucus endeavoured to obtain possession of Thrace and Macedonia. But 
he was killed, stabbed in the back by Ptolem.xus Keraunos, who was living 
with him as a guest at Lysimachia on the Hellespont ; whereupon the latter 
seized Macedonia for himself, compelled the widow of Lysimachus to marry 
him, and then caused her children to be murdered before her eyes. 

But the blood-stained despotism of Ptolemseus lasted only a short time. 
He fell in battle against the hordes of the Gauls, who then for two years held 
possession of Macedonia, and oppressed and pillaged the country, until they 
were at last overcome by Sosthenes and the nobles of the land. They con- 




tinued their aimless migration ; some of them made their way to Asia Minor, 
others took military service as mercenaries. Antigonus Gonatas then obtained 
the chief sovereignty, from which, however, he was temporarily ousted in 
274 by Pyrrhus of Epirus, who had returned from Italy ; and not until the 
death of Pyrrhus, at the siege of Argos, did Antigonus obtain undisturbed 
possession of ]\Iacedonia and Greece. 



Macedonia and Greece. 

rHE Last Struggle of Greece. 
League. — The Lamian war (so 
the town of Lamia, in Thessaly, was its 
point), a contest in which the Athenian 
and their alHes, — the ^toHans, Argives, 
and others, — marched 
ancient times, and in 
under the admirable 

TJie Achaian 

called because 




into the field together as in 
which they fought valiantly 
commander Leosthenes — at 
first, in 323, was favourable to the fortunes of the 
Hellenes. Leosthenes forced his way through the 
whole of Boeotia, conquered the Macedonians in 
Thessaly, and compelled the inhabitants of that 
region to join the army of the Grecian league. 
Antipater was closely besieged m, Lamia, and was 
on the point of surrendering, when the death of 
the brave general, Leosthenes, who was killed dur- 
ing a sally, and the arrival of the commander 
Leonnatos from Asia, entirely altered the aspect 
of the war. Leonnatos, indeed, was defeated and 
slain by the'Greeks in a pitched battle; but Antipater in the meantime 
had found an opportunity to retreat from the besieged town ; he effected 
a junction with the brave Craterus, and then with a strengthened force 
suddenly surprised the Hellenic troops, who were already about to disband. 

The battle of Cranon, in 322, decided the contest against the Greeks. 
Athens, deserted by her allies, was compelled to consent to the hard con- 
ditions of peace drawn up by Antipater in conjunction with Phocion and 
Demades, the chiefs of the Macedonian party — stipulations which brought 
about the destruction of the democratic constitution. Participation in the 
government was made dependent on the possession of a certaui amount of 
property ; and more than 12,000 citizens who did not possess 2,000 drachmas, 
the smallest sum that carried privileges with it, were declared to have forfeited 
their rights of citizenship, and were compelled to settle in a Thracian penal 
colony ; unless they preferred to spend their days on Attic soil as hired 
labourers in poverty and servitude, or to wander as homeless beggars in 
Hellenic countries and colonies. A number of rich aristocrats, with Phocion 
at their head — a man of integrity indeed, but one who cared little for the free- 
dom and independence of his country — carried on the government in the sea- 
port town of Munychia under the protection of a Macedonian garrison. The 
chiefs of the war-party fled, but were dragged away from the sacred places 
where they sought refuge ; Demosthenes put an end to his life by poison, 
at the altar of the temple of Poseidon, at Kalauria, on the coast of Argolis. 
He disdained to fall into the hands of his enemies ; he wished to die as 
he had lived, a free man, and a patriot. "A glorious refuge is death!" 
he exclaimed, to the Macedonian partisan, Archias, who wanted to take him 
prisoner; "it preserves a man from dishonour!" His remains were at a later 
period interred in his native town ; and his memory was held in high respect. 

The persecutors were more fortunate in pursuing others of the proscribed. 
The orator Hyperides, for instance, with some men of like mind with his 
own, was given up to Antipater, and they were put to death with cruel 
tortures. But some years afterwards, in 318, Phocion himself, at the age of 



eighty-five, was in his turn compelled, with several of his comrades, to drink 
the poisoned cup, when, in the struggles of the factions in Macedonia, 
headed by Polysperchon and Cassander, the democrats once more obtained 
the mastery for a short time, and the exiles and homeless wanderers returned. 
Soon afterwards, in 317, through Cassander's influence, his friend Demetrius 
the Phalerean, a wise statesman, orator, and philosopher, of the school of 
Aristotle, and a liberal patron of the arts and sciences, but also much given 
to worldly pleasures and splendour, was placed at the head of the Athenian 
government. His influence during his ten years' administration, from 317 to 
307, caused love of pleasure and effeminacy to stifle the nobler emotions, and 
to destroy regard for freedom and the love of country ; and cringing sub- 
serviency towards the powerful, took the place of self-respect and manly 


independence. This was too plainly seen when the talented, handsome, but 
thoroughly depraved and vicious Demetrius Poliorcetes gained possession 
of Athens, and repeatedly outraged every feeling of morality by the most 
shameless living and licentiousness ; and the Athenians actually revered him 
as a god, erected altars and statues in his honour, and took part in the excesses 
of the voluptuary who had come among them wearing the mask of a liberator. 
It was a godless period, full of wickedness and degeneracy; in the orator 
Demochares alone, the nephew of Demosthenes, a spark of the sacred fire of 
earlier days seemed yet to glow. By means of the garrisons of citadels 
and fortresses, especially the " three fetters," Demetrias, Chalcis, and Acro- 
corinth, Hellas was chained to Macedonia. Yet once more, under Glaucon 
the " water-drinker," and Chremonides, Athens made an effort to shake off 
Macedonian supremacy. But it was in vain. After a valiant struggle that 
lasted for three years, from 266 to 263, the exhausted citizens were obliged 
to give up the contest, and to render tribute and service to the foreign ruler. 

The Achaian League. — Sparta again Triumphant. 
This issue of the last war of independence was the death-blow to Athens. 

That state vanished from the stage of the world as 

a political power ; though 


for generations it continued to be the seat of a varied mental culture, erudi 
tion, and intellectual life. 

During the reign of Demetrius' son, Antigonus Gonatas, the Macedonian i 
government met with a vigorous rival in the Achaian league, which was in-i 
vested with such power and importance by Aratus of Sicyon, that it was in 
a position to aim at the hegemony of the Peloponnesus, and even of the whole 
of Greece. This league, which was connected with the confederacy that had 
existed from very ancient times between the twelve Achaian towns, was the 
last vigorous offshoot from the withered root of the Hellenic tree of liberty. 
The design with which it had been formed was to extricate the Greek govern- 
ment from the dissension and the isolation caused by the separate interests 
of various towns ; and to awaken once more national feeling, energy, and unity 
through the establishment of a federative commonwealth. " Zeus, the assem- 
bler " (homagyrios), with the brandished spear — and the Panachsean Demeter, 
the ancient and mysterious divinity of ^gium with her wreath of victory, were 
venerated as the tutelary deities of the new union. j I 

/ 'ter the brave Aratus had succeeded in freeing his native town from its 
tyrant, the wealthy and artistic Sicyon, and had induced it, in the year 251, to I 
join the Achaian league, consisting of an independent democratic common- 
wealth and governed by commanders-in-chief, or Strateges, and a council of 
the league, with secretaries of state, or Grammatei, he liberated Corinth from 
the Macedonian garrison in 243, and brought that town also, with its strong 
citadel, into the league. Presently Megara, Troezene, Epidaurus, and other 
places joined the confederacy. This advance of the Achaians excited the 
jealousy of the other states. The Macedonians, under king Demetrius II., 
the son of Antigonus Gonatas, who ruled from 240 to 230, assumed a threat- 
ening demeanour, and joined the rough and wild i^tolians — who were well 
skilled in the military art, and who, after remaining in quietude little noticed 
for many years, now likewise united their unfortified, democratically governed 
towns into a league; — but without unity of government, and rather for mutual 
aid in their marauding expeditions than for the strengthening of a form of 
rule resting on civil principles. But, above all the other states, Sparta, who 
had not forgotten her former supremacy over the Peloponnesian states, and 
whose two magnanimous kings, Agis IV. and Cleomenes III., were endeavour- 
ing to restore the old vigour and warlike virtue among their subjects, looked 
with envy and resentment on the ambitious power of the Achaian league in 
the Peloponnesus. Since the regulation had existed in Sparta that several 
estates might be allotted to one and the .same owner, all landed property had 
gradually fallen into the hands of a few wealthy oligarchs, who now governed 
the state by means of the Ephori chosen from among themselves. The whole 
landed possessions of the Dorian commonwealth were now in the hands of | 
about a hundred rich families ; the remaining Spartan citizens were destitute 
of rights of property, and on account of debts were reduced to the most abject 
dependence on the wealthy, who gave themselves up to luxury and self- 
indulgence while the community starved. The gymnastic schools stood empty, 
the institution of common meals, where simple fare was spread before the 
citizens, had been discontinued, and expensive furniture and luxurious banquets 
had taken the place of the old frugal arrangements and of the ancient sim- 
plicity. The position of the Perioeci, who had achieved prosperity through 
industry and commerce, and the condition even of the Helots, who at least 
could earn their daily subsistence, was far better than that of the impoverished 


The Efforts of Agis and Cleomenes. 



'E wretched state of things 
just described Agis endea- 
voured to ameliorate by insisting 
on the abolition of the office of 
the Ephori, by the annulHng of 
debtors' bonds, by a redistribu- 
tion of property, and by the re- 
establishment of the Lycurgan 
laws and of the ancient Dorian 
strictness and simplicity. But 
the enterprise was frustrated by 
the selfishness of the rich. In 
the year 241, Agis, who had been 
unfortunate in the strife against 
the .^tolians, was 
his enemies, decoyed out of the 
sanctuary where he had taken r» 
fuge, and. with his noble-minded 
mother and grandmother, who 
had magnanimously consented 
to surrender their large property, 
was cruelly strangled — an en- 
thusiastic, brave, heroic king, 
young in years and of noble 
presence, whose lively imagina- 
tion was filled with visions of 
the greatness and nobility of the 
ancient military state of Sparta. 
Better success attended a similar 
attempt on the part of king 
Cleomenes (236-220), who married the noble-minded widow of Agis, an 
enthusiastic lover of freedom. A fortunate campaign against the Achaian 
eague, which had meanwhile extended itself by the adhesion of Argos, 
Megalopolis, and other towns, gave him confidence to take a determined step, 
lie caused the Ephori to be suddenly surprised at a repast and murdered, 
banished eighty of the most prominent oligarchs, and then established, by 
means of a popular assembly, those radical reforms by which alone Sparta's 
regeneration could be accomplished. 

A new spirit now animated ihe invigorated state ; the old Spartan martial 
virtue, simplicity, and frugality of life were restored ; the brave king, invested 
with greater authority through the new constitution of the government, reduced 
Argos and Mantinca to subjection, and sought to win once more for his native 
town its old supremacy in the Peloponnesus. This aroused the jealousy of 
Aratus, in whose narrow mind there was no room for enthusiasm for the 
restoration of Greece. Accordingly, when Cleomenes began to make prepara- 
tions for the siege of Corinth, Aratus rejected his proferred overtures of peace, 
summoned to his aid the Macedonian king, Antigonus Doson, who -reigned 
from 230 to 221, and, after surrendering to him the Acropolis of Corinth, 
placed the Achaian league under Macedonian protection — a disgraceful action 
which cast a shadow of dishonour over his whole life. The Spartans could 




not stand against this combined power. Cleomenes was compelled to surrendei 
Argos, to look on while Mantineawas destroyed, some of its inhabitants being 
slain, and the rest carried off into slavery ; and when he attempted to strike 
a decisive blow, not far from the northern frontier of Laconia, he lost by hifi "]''' 
defeat at the battle of Sellasia, in 222, all the advantages of his formeii 
exertions. Surrounded bv a small band of faithful followers, Cleomene^ 
escaped to Sparta, where, leaning his head against a pillar, he enjoyed a short* 
rest. He advised his fellow-citizens to surrender ; and then immediateh^ 
hastened to the sea-coast, whence he sailed across to Alexandria, where his 
mother and his children already awaited him. Here he sought from the 
Egyptian court assistance for the liberation of his native town ; but when he 
had almost obtained his request, king Ptolemseus Euergetes died ; and his 
successor, subject to other influences, not only refused all help, but even 
caused Cleomenes and his followers to be imprisoned in the citadel. From 
their place of captivity they one day rushed forth into the streets of the 
Egyptian capital, armed with daggers, and calling upon the people to risd 
and strike a blow for liberty ; and when their appeal met with no response 
from the astonished multitude, they thrust their daggers into their own hearts 
Thus, in the year 220, died Cleomenes — according to the verdict of Polybius 
a man of a genuine, princely, and royal nature ; endowed with rare gifts and 
virtues ; one whose ruin was caused by his enthusiasm for a great period that 
had departed, and for a justice that had vanished in the midst of a degraded Ij" 
people. His mother and his two children, as well as the beautiful and 
virtuous widow of Panteus, the youngest of the king's comrades, perished byj 
the hand of the executioner, at the command of the revengeful, luxurious 

Sparta Once More Conquered. 

After the battle of Sellasia, the Macedonian king entered Sparta as a con- 
queror, though a lenient one ; he once more set up the council of elders, the 
Ephori, and the power of the oligarchy ; and compelled the inhabitants to join 
in an offensive and defensive alliance, or symmachy, with the Achaian league, 
which was now under the supremacy of Macedonia. 

After his return Antigonus Doson died suddenly. He was succeeded in 
221 by the young, hopeful Philip HI., whose way he had prepared by a faith- 
ful and conscientious administration of the government. Philip was a bold, 
enterprising youth, who in course of time displayed great military skill, but 
who cherished no love for Greece, and regarded all means as justifiable for 
the attainment of the universal rule which was the object of his wishes. At 
the commencement of his reign the six years' " war of the confederates," 
that lasted from 221 to 215, broke out between the Achaians and ^tolians 
on account of a freebooting expedition of the latter people into the rich 
pasture country of Messenia, — in which the Peloponnesus was sorely ravaged,; 
and many places were laid waste and plundered by the rapacious yEtolians 
and their auxiliaries. There was no security for life and property ; even the 
temples of the gods were plundered without remorse. This disastrous war 
destroyed the last vigour of the Greek states ; and Sparta, which was distracted 
by savage party animosity, and had joined the ^Etolian league from hatred 
of the Achaians, lost the last remnants of its power and social organization. 
After Aratus had perished by poison in 213, through the malice of the Mace- 1 
donians, the brave and high-spirited Philopcemen became chief of the Achaian 
league and made war on the hostile Lacedaemonians, who were governed by; 





I rude, skilful warrior and tyrant, Machanidas ; they were unable to make any 
ififectual resistance. Machanidas was defeated in the battle of Mantinea in 
206, and slain by Philopoemen's own hand ; a deed which was greeted by the 
aniversal applause of Greece at the Nemean games. From that time the 
nfluence of Sparta had entirely passed away ; and though the confusion 
which the intervention of the Romans soon afterv^ards brought about in 
Greece, for a time delayed its entire destruction, the fall of the once renowned 
Laconian capital, where, after the death of Machanidas, the cruel tyrant Nabis 
exercised a blood}^ despotism, was not far distant. In 188, eighteen years 
after the battle of Mantinea, Philopoemen appeared in arms before the walls 
iitof Sparta, where Nabis had been murdered shortly before by the yEtolians 
11- jEt an inspection of the troops. He caused eighty of the most distinguished 
en [citizens to be executed; and then compelled the humbled town to join the 
iiiiiAchaian league, to adopt its constitution, and to entirely abolish the institu- 
iif tions of Lycurgus. The endless contention which prevailed from that time 
jt forward between the old enemies, promoted the supremacy of the Romans, 
jwwho speedily intervened as umpires between the disputing parties. 

A few years later, in 183, Philopoemen fell into the hands of his enemies 
during a war against the Messenians, who, under the tyrant Deinokrates, 
wished to make themselves independent of the Achaian league ; and he 
jtjwas compelled to drink the poisoned cup. After the death of this "last of 
the Greeks," who united the chivalrous bearing of a brave commander with 
the acuteness of a trained statesman, and whose homely simplicity, honesty, 
and truthfulness recalled to mind the old heroic characters of Aristides and 
Epaminondas, the power of the Achaian league declined ; and thus the 
Romans were soon able to make themselves masters of the whole country 
without any arduous conflict. The liberation of all the Hellenic states from 
Macedonian supremacy, at first granted as a boon, hastened the dissolution, 
and brought party animosity and the lawlessness of bandits to such a pitch, 
that life, wealth, and property were deprived of all security ; and amid the 
social struggles of the poor and the debtors against the rich and prosperous, 
the very foundations of civil life were shaken, and the final subjugation ot all 
under Roman law was hailed as a happy event, bringing safety and order to 
the distracted community. 



Condition of Asia Minor. — The SeleuciD/E. — Independent States. 
— Lysimachus, and the Kingdom of Thrace. — Galatia and its 
Divisions. — The Kingdom of Pergamum. — King Attalus. — The 
Egyptian Kingdom of the Ptolemies. — The Glory of Alexan- 
dria. — Religion of the Time. — Egyptian and Greek Elements. 

The Syrian Kingdom of the Seleucid/e. 

AMONG Alexander's suc- 
jl\_ cessors Seleucus (Nicator) 
and Ptolem^Eus were the most 
fortunate. The former suc- 
ceeded, after long and success- 
ful wars, in subjugating all the 
countries from the Hellespont 
and the Mediterranean Sea to 
the Indus and Jaxartes. But 
Syria and Mesopotamia, where 
the national names of the dis- 
tricts and towns appeared to 
indicate an " Asiatic Mace- 
donia," were looked upon as 
constituting the chief empire. 
Here Seleucus I. had already 
founded the magnificent city 
of Antiochia on the Orontes, 
with which none could compare except Selukia on the Tigris. By means of 
this city and the forty other towns which he and his successors the Seleucida; 
established, Greek culture and language and Hellenic characteristics became 
more and more predominant in the East. But with Greek refinement and 
civilization were allied Oriental luxury and Asiatic effeminacy, the means for 
whose gratification were furnished by the wealth obtained from high taxation 

and extended commerce. 







164-162 B.C. 




146-138 ; and again 128-125 ''■'^• 

ANTIOCHUS IV. (Another Coin.) 

138-128 B.C. 

146-143 B.C. 






Luxury and the various vices that always follow in its train took up 
their abode at the court, and exercised their enervating and demoralizing 
influence on the nation. Nowhere did servility display itself in so debased a 
form, as in the Syro-Babylonian Empire ; nowhere did subjects stoop to such 
degrading flattery, as in this wealthy and prosperous realm. The people 
not only erected temples and altars to their kings, to whom they ren- 
dered divine honours ; they even gave Antiochus II. the title of Theos, 

"the god.' 

The ancient religion degenerated into a mixed Graeco-Orienti^i 


■worship, or confused superstition based on shadowv myths. Bloodshed and 
crime, the dominion of women and favourites, general degradation and de- 
moralization, with sanguinary wars, full of vicissitudes, against Egypt, the 
nations of Asia Minor', and rebellious districts in the East, make up the sub- 
stance of the history of the Seleucid.x ; among whom Antiochus III., called the 
Great, is alone worthy of mention, on account of his expeditions to Bactria 
and India, his wars with Egypt, and his unsuccessful conflict with the 
Romans. This monarch met his death in 187, a few years after the battle 



near Magnesia in Elymais, south of the Caspian Sea. He was engaged in 
plundering the temple of Baal, in order to fill his empty coffers with its 
treasures, when he was slain by the inhabitants. 

After the defeat at Magnesia, Syria did not a second time seek the arbitre- 
ment of war. When once the Romans had obtained a firm footing in Asia, 
their power in Syria increased year by year, until at last Pompey reduced the 
kingdom to the condition of a Roman province, in the year 64 B.C. A king- 
dom held together by no inward kind of union, made up of most various 
nationalities, a kingdom in which there was no popular general administration, 
no representation of the provinces, nor any self-government to foster the love 
of freedom or to call forth patriotic zeal, could only be held together by the 
sword with which it had been won ; and therefore, so soon as it experienced 
a diminution of warlike strength, through its cumbrous and defective military 
organization, it necessarily became a prey to its enemies. 



Independent States, — The Partiiians, Etc 

UNDER feeble and wicked rulers like the 
majority of the Seleucida?, a few enter- 
prising men succeeded in founding small inde- 
pendent states. Thus the warlike, well-mounted 
Parthians, dwelling in the country now called 
Bokhara, made themselves independent about 
the year 250, under the leadership of Arsakes, 
a valiant chief of Scythian hordes of nomads, 
and by means of successful wars extended their 
boundaries as far as the Caspian Sea. A hun- 
dred years later, the Parthian kingdom of the 
Arsakida; had extended over every country be- 
tween the Euphrates and Indus, and successfully 
withstood, without assistance, the arms of the 
world-conquering Romans. 

In Parthia as in Bactria and the Median king- 
dom of Atropatene, the ancient Persian fire- 
worship, modified by certain rays of the purer 
Hellenic philosophy, maintained itself for cen- 
turies among the people, and formed a barrier 
against the encroaching influence of Plellenism. 

Alexander's brave general Lysimachus had at first united the greater part 
of Asia Minor with his kingdom of Thrace ; but domestic troubles involved 
him in his old age in wars where he himself met his death ; and the chief 
portion of his kingdom fell into the hands of Seleucus ; whereupon some 
smaller independent states were formed in Asia Minor. The principal 
kingdom was Galatia, founded by bands of Gauls who, after their defeat near 
Delphi, carried on their devastating expeditions for a long time in Mace- 
donia and Greece, and who strengthened their new kingdom by their victory 
over Seleucus near Ancyra, in 241. It was divided, according to the tribes 

of the Trockmians, Tectosagians, and Tolistoboians, into 
three provinces, with the towns of Ancyra, Pessinus, and 
Taira, and into twelve divisions or Tetrarchies, each of 
which was governed by a tetrarch, or ruler of four districts, 
for warlike affairs and by a judge or dicast for civil mat- 
ters. The great council of the district, composed of 300 
members, assembled in the oak-grove (or Dryaenelum), 
exercised criminal jurisdiction. Warfare, and the martial 

service, m which the Galatians engaged as mercenaries 


for their effeminate neighbours, with frequent plundering 
expeditions into the surrounding countries, formed the 
chief sources of their revenue. To his fortunate battle against them, Attains 
owed his elevation as king of Pergamum. Next in importance was the king- 
dom of Pergamum, which, since the middle of the third century, had been 
governed by Eumenes I., who reigned from 263 to 241, by Attains and 
Eumenes II., men of culture and promoters of arts and sciences, but also 
partisans and flatterers of the Romans. The third kingdom was that of 
Bithynia, where, during the same period, Nicomedes (from 281 to 246), his 
son Prusias, and his inhuman grandson Nicomedes II., the murderer of his 




father, successively carried on the government. Here also new towns were 
founded, such as Lysimachia in Thrace, Nicomedia in Bithynia, and others, 
which attained to great splendour, and exerted a civilizing influence over the 
barbarous tribes of the surrounding districts. Pergamum, — where the pro- 
cess of manufacturing parchment (thence called Pergamentum) from goats' 
and asses' skins was invented, — vied with Alexandria in the promotion of 
Greek art and science ; and its library was the most celebrated next to 
the great collection of books at Alexandria. King Attains I., who ruled from 
241 to 197, a wealthy and generous protector of all artists and scholars, by his 
patronage caused painting to attain to a high point of technical perfection 
in Pergamum. Decorative and ornamental work, with which manipulative 
skill has more to do than intellect, may easily be advanced by the liberality 
of princes, but not genius ; in painting, as little as in the poetic art. 

In spite of the splendour of the court and of the monarchical title of the 
head of the state, the commonwealth of Pergamum always retained a civic 
and republican character, like Florence under the Medici. Eumenes II. (197- 
159) the son and successor of Attains, followed in his father's footsteps. 



ANIMALS AND PLANTS OF THE NILE. {F/'ODi an Aiiciciit Wall Painting.) 

TiiE Egyptian Kindom of the Ptolemies. 

UNDER the first three Ptolemies Egypt was 
a great ruHng power, as in the days of the 
Pharaohs ; and the new royal city of Alexandria 
surpassed the ancient capitals, ]\Iemphis and 
Thebes, in treasures, splendour, and artistic de- 
velopment. Trade, commerce, and industry flou- 
rished in rare prosperity, to which the favourable 
position of the country contributed not a little. 
Commercial intercourse was opened with Arabia 
and India ; the old canal of Necho was once more 
made navigable ; caravan roads were established 
for communication with the desert tribes on the 
South and West ; the Mediterranean was navi- 
gated by trading ships and freed from pirates ; 
on the coast of the Red Sea, towns and centres of mercantile activity were 
established ; and the countries of Phoenicia and Palestine, so important for 
the commerce of the world, as well as the south coast of Asia Alinor, and 
many islands, including Samos and the Cyclades, were added to the Empire. 


THE ARK. {From Apantca 
in Phrygia.) 



The promoters of this new civilized and industrial life were principally 
Greeks, who, scattered throughout the land, and established in the towns, 
stimulated the stern self-contained natives to energetic labour and encouraged 
them to participation in the activity and industry of the age. To avoid giving 
offence to the prejudiced people who held resolutely to the traditions of the 
past, the first Ptolemies proceeded with great wisdom and moderation. They 
allowed the hierarchical institutions, the system of caste, and the old division 
of the country to remain unaltered, and made no sudden and violent changes. 
The religion of their time consisted of a mingling of Greek and Egyptian 
elements ; the gorgeous worship of Serapis and Isis formed the central point 
round which was arranged the Hellenic worship of the powers of nature of 
the lower world ; Alexandria became the seat of a world's literature ; the 
Hellenic tongue became the language of the court, of the law, and of admin- 
istrative and official life. 

BIRDS AND A NET. {Front an Ancient Wall Painting.') 





The Jewish Nation under the Seleucid^. — Antiochus the Great. 
— Matathias the Priest. —Judas Maccab/eus the Heroic 
Leader. — Jonathan and Simon his Brothers. — John Hyrcanus. 
— Iren/Eus and Antigonus. — Herod the Great. — His Son An- 
tipater. — The Pharisees and the Sadducees. — The Essenes, 
Etc. — Hellenism and its Influence on the Ancient World. 
— -Retrospect and Summary. 

The Maccab/eans and Their Power. 

JUD^A was for a long period the 
Avhich the Seleucidae contended 
Ptolemies. The latter family, 
help of the warlike Arab tribes on the eastern 
border, first gained possession of the country 
and made it tributary to them ; but they left 
the ancient institutions untouched, and allowed 
the Jewish ecclesiastical state to remain with 
its Mosaic code of laws and traditions of its 
fathers. Content if the taxes were but duly 
paid, and if the high priest remitted annually 
the tribute of twenty talents of silver, the 
Egyptian kings accorded to their Jewish sub- 
jects religious and civil liberty, and allowed the 
high priest, — with whom the Sanhedrim or 
council of seventy was afterwards associated, — 
to be the guardian of morals and doctrine, to 
preside over religious worship and mternal 




prize for 
with the 
with the 






affairs, and to pronounce sentence on the highest judicial matters ; and 
they also permitted the sacrificial worship and the sacred festivals to be 
celebrated according to the manner of former times. Many Jews settled in 
Alexandria, where they acquired wealth and power. They filled high offices 
in the state, and enriched themselves by lucrative trading ; so that from the 
gifts of pious believers duelling in strange lands, magnificent treasures were 
amassed in the temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem. But after the victorious 
battle of Paneas, near the sources of the Jordan, in 199, Juda;a was brought 
under subjection to the Seleucidae by Antiochus III., surnamed the Great 
(who ruled from 224 to 187 B.C.), and the country was oppressed with heavy 
taxation, especially when Antiochus was compelled to purchase peace from 
the Romans with an immense sum of money. 

His second successor, Antiochus Epiphanes, the Illustrious (176-164), to 
whom the people gave the surname of "the madman (Epimanes) on account 
of his vices and crimes, even carried away the treasures of the temple at 
Jerusalem, and meditated the design of abolishing the Jewish institutions and 
the worship of Jehovah, and of establishing in their stead Greek culture with 
Hellenic heathenism, in Palestine as in his other states. The temple in 
Jerusalem was dedicated to the worship of the Olympian Zeus. 

The resistance of the Jews brought upon them such fearful persecutions, 
that the people, reduced at last to desperation, rebelled ; and under the 
leadership of the priest Matathias, of the illustrious family of the Hasmonaeans, 
and his five heroic sons, the Maccabees, bravely and successfully opposed 
the Syrians in desultory warfare. Concealing themselves in ravines and 
hollows, the true believers, or Hassidse, undertook forays in every direction, 
overthrew the altars, circumcised the new-born male children, and carried on 
fierce and uninterrupted warfare against all, apostates and unbelievers alike. 
The eldest son of the family, Judas Maccabreus, who died in 160, is described 
as a man who felt that the best possession of life is boldness. He surpassed 
his father in bravery and in knowledge of the art of warfare ; and after some 
successful wars extorted a peace from the succeeding kings, by which the 
re-establishment of the Jewish worship was achieved. But reconciliation and 
peace were not at once secured. National and religious party hatred for a long 
time distracted the community; Judas Maccabseus himself, the " Saviour of 
Israel," fell on the battle-field, at the head of his brave warriors. 

The courage of the Hasidseans was unsubdued. Jonathan, the brother of 
Judas, took advantage of the contention for the throne, and the disorders in 
the Syrian kingdom, to secure the succession to the office of high priest for 
the house of the Hasmonaeans; and when he was treacherously taken prisoner 
at Ptolemais and executed, the third brother, Simon, succeeded to the leader- 
ship of the valiant Hasidaeans. Simon liberated Judaea entirely from S}'rian 
domination, and from the tribute; and as prince and high priest he ruled wisely 
and justly over the nation, completely re-establishing the national worship of 
the Israelites. Through him, years of prosperity and happiness dawned once 
more upon Judaea. But Simon also died a violent death, in the year 135. 
In the city of Jericho he was slain by the murderous hand of his guest and 
son-in-law. Under his son John, called Hyrcanus (135-105), who entered into 
alliance with Rome, the boundaries of the kingdom were widened, and the 
Idumaeans or Edomites were compelled to accept the Jewish law. John died 
in 105; and in the person of his son Aristobulus, who succeeded him, even the 
title of king was revived. 

But the prosperity of the Jewish state, produced by the heroic struggles of 



the Maccabees, was not of long duration. Not only was the ruling family 
divided against itself, the different members persecuting and killing each 
other; internal disputes and the rivalries of sects, as well as the disdainful 
jealousy of the true Jews towards the Samaritans and Galileans, paralysed 
the strength of the nation, and at last brought it under the dominion of 
Home. The warlike Irenaeus, who united the royal title with the office of 
high priest, raged against his conquered adversaries with inhuman cruelty, 
until he met his death at the siege of Ragaba. His wife Salome carried on 
the government ; but the wars and party conflicts of her sons caused the 
Romans to step in as arbitrators and rulers in the land. Her favourite, 
Antipater, the governor of Idumaea, was the real ruler; but after he had 
perished by poison, her son Herod, a prince of great power and wisdom, the 


husband of Mariamne, of the family of the Hasmonseans, took his place. 
Seconded by Roman troops, Herod made war on the last of the Maccabees, 
Antigonus, and after the storming of the temple and of the city of Zion, 
caused him to be executed by the commander Sosius. Antigonus died a 
cruel death. He was bound to a stake in Antiochia, and after he had been 
scourged, was beheaded. 

Herod "the Great" now seated himself on the throne of David, in the year 
30 B.C., and ruled over Judaea as a tributary king under Roman protection, 
supported and favoured by Augustus. In order to win the suffrage of the 
Jews, who hated him as a stranger, he caused the temple of Solomon to be 
enlarged and beautified ; but as his reign went on, suspicion and a passionate 
violent temper caused him to degenerate more and more into a blood-thirsty 
tyrant. He raged even against his own family, caused his dearly-loved wife 


Mariamne to be put to death in a fit of jealous fury ; handed over the sons of 
Mariamne to the executioner, at the instigation of his wicked son Antipater ; 
and, as related in Holy Writ, even sought to take the life of Jesus of Nazareth, 
the Redeemer who was sent into the world for the salvation of fallen humanity. 

The poisoned goblet and the torture played an important part in the 
godless court at Jerusalem during the last years of Herod the Great. Even 
on his death-bed the royal despot issued his command for the execution of 
his wicked son Antipater, who had conspired against his life. Herod's son 
Archelaus, to whom Augustus entrusted the chief part of the dominion 
Herod the Great had governed, with the capital Jerusalem, could not maintain 
order in the distracted kingdom. He was banished to Gaul, where he died ; 
and then Judaea, incorporated with the province of Syria, was brought under 
tlie immediate dominion of Rome. 

At that time there existed among the Jews different sects or parties, among 
whom the Pharisees, or " the distinguished," and the Sadducees, adherents of 
the house of Zadok, are the most celebrated. Both took their position within 
the pale of Israelitish nationality, and held to the Mosaic law. But while 
the Pharisees were both strict observers of the traditions that extended back 
to the days of Ezra, and that had been constantly augmented by new 
additions, — and while they hoped, by the punctilious fulfilment of external 
trivial precepts and observances, to attain a heavenly reward in the other 
world, and, in the endeavour after severe formal holiness and national exclu- 
siveness, sometimes fell into dissimulation and hypocritical self-sufficiency, — 
the Sadducees, who mostly belonged to the upper classes, sought to reconcile 
the Mosaic law, which alone they considered binding, with Greek customs and 
habits of thought, and endeavoured, with aristocratic suppleness, to reconcile 
freer views of life and more refined and worldly cultivation. The antagonism 
between the two parties consisted less in difference of dogma than in a 
divergent conception of outward political and social life, and in a stricter and 
a looser interpretation respectively of the obligation towards the Jewish law 
and the Hellenic idea of the citizen of the world. 

The numerous Jews living in Alexandria went still farther than the 
Sadducees ; they strove to mingle Jewish wisdom with the Greek heathen 
philosophy, and at last even adopted the Greek tongue as their language. 
Ptolemaeus Philadelphus caused the five books of Moses to be translated into 
Greek by a number of learned men, — according to tradition, 72, — of this 
Alexandrian Jewish school ; and this translation he deposited in his library. 
This example was soon imitated, so that in the course of the third and the 
second centuries before our era, the remaining books of the Old Testament 
were also translated into Greek. In this manner arose the translation of the 
Bible known under the name of the Septuagint, which was afterwards greatly 
conducive to the spread of Christianity. Recognised and used by the leaders 
of the Alexandrian Jewish community as an authentic source of national law, 
the book obtained, from the number of members of this college, the title of 
the Septuagint "the translation of the seventy." Another Jewish sect, the 
Essseans, or Essenes, descended from the Hassida^ans of the Maccabaan 
period, believed that they served God best, and most effectually, and promoted 
the welfare of their souls, by seclusion from the world, by religious penances, 
or asceticism, and by community of property among the members of the 
order. They dwelt m groups in solitary places on the western side of the 
Dead Sea, carried on agriculture, cattle rearing, and blameless, peaceful 
industry ; and while each individual gave up his private property, they put 



their possessions and earnings into a common stock for the general use. 
They Hved a celibate life, and abstained from eating meat, and by 
ministering to the wants of the poor and acting as physicians to the sick, 
they earned the gratitude of suffering humanity. Similar in character to the 
Essenes were the Egyptian Therapeuts, who dwelt in smaller companies 
around a house of prayer in the desert on the Lake Mareotis. They read 
and expounded the holy Scriptures and led a contemplative life, performing 
their devotions in common. The "Book of Wisdom" appears to be one of 
the most beautiful fruits of this development of religious feeling. The 
Pharisees formed the chief basis of the nation ; the Sadducees were chiefly 
distinguished from them by subordination of religious and political interest ; 
and the Essenes by a saintly and enthusiastic mode of life. I 

Alexandrian Culture and Literature. 

IT was not only the outward aspect 
of the world that assumed a 
new form in the Alexandrian period ; 
intellectual and spiritual life, modes 
of thought and conceptions, art and 
science, underwent great changes. 
The exclusive nationality of earlier 
days lost its dry, austere character, 
and its attachment to tradition that 
had become law. In their stead 
there arose artistic forms which 
sought to show their value some- 
times in the fulness of matter, 
sometimes in the ostentatious de- 
velopment of obscure learning, and 
in diversity of knowledge, sometimes 
again in formal and technical de- 
coration and in oratorical display. 
Literary activity became, like the 
use of weapons, the special privilege 
of a certain class, which, estranged 
from active life, took possession of 
the whole realm of knowledge, and 
with a preference for the marvellous, 
the mysterious, and the extraordi- 
nary, prepared the vast contents in 
poetic or rhetorical forms for the 
great crowd of readers. Thus 
arose, under the hands of a learned 
class, a " literature of the world," 
in which Eastern wisdom was united 
with the ancient Greek life into 
unnatural, romantic forms. 

The theories of government and 

justice of the old simple primitive 

kingdoms, and the strict separation 

of nationalities, found no place and 

fiRRHus. commanded no esteem in the new 






system of the world ; the requirements of the new conditions of society 
urgently called for the recognition of wider and more general ideas and 
laws. In religion and worship men departed from the traditional representa- 
tions, forms, and customs — partly because the foreign and the national were 
mixed together into an unnatural blending of religion and myths, and partly! 
because the old divine teachings concerning the gods were boldly declared to 
be superstition and human inventions ; and attempts were made to substitute 
for the popular religion barren creations of the understanding, or philosophical 
speculations and the practical inculcation of morals. 

Plastic art served the needs of real life, as it directed its activity more 
towards the beautifying of towns and royal palaces, than towards the 
erection of splendid temples ; and developed its progress more in the shape of 
superb monuments and of statues of human heroes, than in divine images of: 
the gods ; or it did homage to the taste of the period for exaggeration, either 
in the colossal size of the productions or in the elaboration of technical 
decoration and the extreme of artistic refinement. 

Hellenism, and its Influence on the Ancient World. 
Retrospect and Summary. 


ROM the foregoing delineation of the history 
of ancient Greece we see how Greek genius 
gradually destroyed and broke through the rigid 
forms and narrow limits of Eastern civilized life, 
brought to complete development and to practical 
application the theory of the personal liberty and 
equality of all citizens ; and how at last, in im- 
moderate struggle against all limitation of indi- 
vidual liberty, either by tradition or custom, law 
or agreement, it lost itself in striving after the 
impossible, and in the endeavour to maintain 
untenable, unreal, and incongruous positions. In 
considering the progress of Greece, three periods 
are to be distinguished in the Hellenic civilized life. 
First comes the early period, which, in religion and art, in government and 
civil regulations, was still allied with the East — in which the nation held fast to 
custom and the institutions of the fathers, submitted to the patriarchal domin- 



ion of the kings and noble families, and regarded the division and separation 
of men into various ranks and classes, according to pursuits and occupation, 
tribes, or families, as a necessary regulation of life. This period of Oriental 
limitation was succeeded by a second, in which the impulse given by the 
cispirations for freedom arising from self-respect and the consciousness of 
inanly strength in the nation, produced efforts for freedom, that found their 
highest expression in the Persian wars. The old symbolical divinities became 
in the popular faith idealized men, full of a vigorous and sensuous life, the 
images of the gods, the severe forms sanctified by tradition and custom, were 
replaced by those of free human figures full of activity and animation. 

The sovereignty of the chief families, founded on tradition and a feeling of 
veneration and respect, gave way to the self-ruling power of the community of 
the people, with equality of rights for all free citizens, and the administration 
of the government in accordance with the strictly defined rights and duties of 
perfect political freedom. The former division, — according to class and calling, 
tribe and family, — lost its significance when brought into contact with the rigid 
separation of the Hellenes into free-born citizens, into a protected class who 
had no political privileges, and into slaves or serfs destitute of personal free- 
dom, property, and human rights. It was in this second or intermediate 
period that the Hellenic nation came nearest to achieving its great task — that 
of penetrating and dominating the material world by the power of the 
mind, and the might of intelligence ; and here the Greek appears in contrast 
with the Oriental world, which, in its one-sided striving towards the attain- 
ment of the god-like, failed to reconcile the antagonism between the material 
and the spiritual — a contrast that exhibited itself outwardly in the long wars 
against the Persian empire. In this period the Greeks sought intellectually to 
vanquish and to elevate material life by poetic and artistic energy, to bind 
together scattered elements in the unity of one great design, and to elevate the 
practical and real world to the standard of the ideal. 

The boast of Pericles concerning the Athenians : " We love the beautiful 
with moderation and wisdom, without effeminacy," described the character- 
istic attribute of Hellenism at this period, in contradistinction to Barbarism. 
Art set an ideal stamp on the whole of life. In sculpture, it set up the ennobled 
and glorified human form as the type of outward beauty, and as the abode of 
the divine spirit in its different radiations ; in poetry, it unveiled the inex- 
haustible world of feeling slumbering in the depths of the soul ; it was art that 
interwove the divine with the human life in the mingled tissue of mythology. 
In tragedy, art represented the varying alternations which the eternal ruling fate 
sends down upon the prorrtinent chiefs of men as a warning against wicked- 
ness and pride ; in comedy, art held up to the erring community the image of 
the political action of the state in the ingenious mirror of caricature ; in music, 
and in the inspiriting dance, art enlivened the hours of festivity, and gave to 
the whole career of the free-born man a nobler expression and higher aim. 

Those things only that could be removed into the realm of art were deemed 
worthy of an Hellenic citizen ; the commonplace, and that which pertained 
to trade, and everything that was regarded as ministering only to the 
necessity or comfort of life, — all that served as the means and appliance for 
gratifying the love of gain, — was handed over to the half-free men and to the 
slaves, as pertaining to them alone ; the artistic was therefore the characteristic 
feature of Hellenism. 

The writing of history also, in the hands of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xeno- 
phon, took the form of artistic work; and the'- first achievement " of the Hellenes, 


the development of their language, was artistic. For the Greek language 
must be regarded before all the sister tongues as a work of art, on account of 
the feeling displayed in it for evenness and perfection of sound, for clearness 
of form, and for rule and organization. This artistic inclination showed itself 
even in the care the Greeks took of the body. The gymnastic exercises in 
the schools, the glorification of the handsome and vigorous man, the high 
consideration which the wreath, won in the national games, procured for the 
victor in the eyes of the whole of Greece — these and other customs awakened 
and animated the sense of the beautiful, and the admiration of the noble 

In like manner, Greek genius sought to penetrate the mysterious life of 
nature, and to grasp the idea of unity in the changing forms of the world of 
phenomena ; not by endeavouring to investigate isolated phenomena and by 
reasoning from the individual to universal fundamental doctrines ; for the 
science of nature, in its laborious, separate investigations of details, had little 
charm for the Greek mind ; but by seeking to discover the universal essence 
of existence, or the eternal idea in that which was present, imperfect, and 

The opposite method, introduced by Aristotle, prepared the way for the 
transition to the third period, in which the limits necessary even to perfect 
freedom were torn down — when men launched forth into the vague, the 
unlimited, and the extravagant — when the vigorous patriotic feeling was 
exchanged for a dreamy, enervated world-citizenship — when the firm adminis- 
tration of each confederate state was superseded by an untenable autonomy 
of the community and a destructive individualism. The native gods were 
sometimes disowned, sometimes mingled with strange forms and ideas ; in 
matters of art less value was attached to a mighty creation, than to technical 
and formal perfection in details, or the conquering of material difficulties ; 
and sensual enjoyment in life was counted among the most important aims 
of earthly existence. 

In this third period Hellenism overstepped the nativ^e and national 
boundary, and carried its intellectual supremacy into the old centres of 
Eastern culture, from whence it had itself once received the first rays of a 
higher knowledge ; but this extension of Greek language and customs and of 
the Greek elements of civilization over the distant East, also resulted in a 
weakening of the Hellenic character, by mingling with foreign elements, and 
on the other hand a widening of the same into a universal intellectual bond, 
so that Hellenism became a means of culture throughout the diiTerent 
nations. The inclination to settle in foreign countries — a deeply innate 
characteristic of the Hellenic nature — which had led the earlier races to 
establish centres of commerce and civilization on the coasts of barbarian 
nations, rose to a strange adventurous height during this period of unlimited 
independence ; so that Hellenism, after the Alexandrian warlike expedition, 
penetrated to the furthest boundaries of the known earth, and adopted the 
character of the " romantic." Greek genius henceforward forsook the artistic 
and ideal heights, and mingled in the crush and tumoil of humanity ; its 
efforts were practical, its productions were more in accordance with the needs 
and inclinations of mankind. The art of sculpture served for the embellish- 
ment and adornment of life, and instead of kindling and strengthening the 
divine spark in the soul of the natural man, sought to win favour and 
approval by beautiful forms ; poetry retreated behind material interests, and 
behind knowledge — that element which had once penetrated the whole life 


































of the Grecian world, now occupied but a quiet, modest corner as a flower 
or ornamental plant in the spacious garden of life. Even Science now took up 
a position with regard to its usefulness to the material world, and the benefits 
it yielded to practical life, which it sought to influence and enrich in many- 
ways. Philosophy descended from the speculative observatory, and established 
general laws and rules of life, not merely for the purpose of comprehending 
the world and the secrets of creation, but also with the aim of fathoming 
destiny, and defining the highest welfare of mankind, and to enable man to 
support the vicissitudes of earthly life with equanimity. 

Hellenism retained this office even in political bondage and servitude. 
Hellenic genius was the protector of the sacred divine spark, when the world 
was under the dominion of sensuality, of selfishness, and of the sword ; Hellenic 
language, wisdom, and art always remained the bond, the bearer, and the 
dwelling-place of the intellectual and spiritual portion of humanity in earthly 




Ancient Italy ; Gallic or Celtic Inhabitants. — Nature of the 
Country. — The Various Tribes. — The Insubri, the Boii, etc. — 
Physical Features of the Italian Peninsula. — Nations of 
Central Italy before the Dominion of the Romans. — The 
Etruscans, their Industries, Manners, and Customs, their 
Government, etc. — The Umbrians, the Sabellian Tribes, 

LATIVE Assemblies, and Public Festivals. — The Religious 
System of Italy. — the Gods of the Latin and Sabine 
Nations. — Affinity with Greek Deities. — Veneration of the 
Italians for the Spiritual and Universal. 

|TALY is divided into two portions essentially different in 
position and natural characteristics. In the northerly 
flat country, stretching out between the Alps and the 
Apennines, and in the far-extending southern peninsula, 
split up by mountain ranges into many separate valleys 
and coast plains, it afforded a favourable opening for 
separation according to races, and for the development 
of particular forms of life. 

The broad plain bounded on the north and A\est by 
the Alps, in the south by the Apennines, on both sides 
of the Padus or Po, was always exposed to the immi- 
grations of foreign tribes, as the Alpine passes were less 
steep on the west and north than from Italy, and therefore 
«, afforded the wanderers easier ingress. When the country, by 
i'\ contact with the Romans, became included in the domain of 
i\ history, it was inhabited, with the exception of the Veneti at 
the mouths of the Po, and the Ligurian tribes on the western 
mountain slopes from Genoa to Pisa, almost entirely by Gallic 
or Celtic races who, in contradistinction from the " Gauls of 
the trosses " on the other side of the Alps, were called " the Gauls of the 
toga," on account of their costume. 

Separated into various States, they long remained faithful to the pastoral life 


of their compatriots, " living on the flesh of their flocks and tarrying with 
them day and night in the oak forests," until in course of time they devoted 
themselves either to town life and the arts of peace, or to productive agricul- 
ture in the fruitful plains of the Po. But not unfrequently, when the wild 
Alpine tribes made rapacious invasions into their country with warlike violence, 
they pressed upon the inhabitants of the southern countries on the east and 
west of the Apennines. After the Insubri had first established themselves on the 
Ticinus, and founded Mediolanum, or Milan, and the Cenomani had extended 
as far as the Adige and established the towns of Brescia and Verona, fresh 
bands of people crossed the Po, and drove the Umbrians and Etruscans farther 

A Celtic tribe called the Boii settled in the old Etruscan town of Felsina, 
which received from its new masters the name of Bononia (Bologna). 
The Senones, the last band which passed over the Alps, took up their 
abode on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, from Rimini, as far as the neighbour- 
hood of the " elbow " where the Syracusans had founded the colonial town of 
Ancona. For a long period the Gauls, in the territories between the Alps 
and the Apennines and on the Adriatic coast, remained masters of the level 
country and fertile pastures ; but their policy of colonization was feeble and 
superficial, and their dominion took no deep root, and did not develope into 
anything like exclusive possession. 

Of more importance in the growth and progress of historic life is the moun- 
tainous and hilly country of the Apennines. This mountain range, — which, 
branching off from the Maritime Alps in the Ligurian coast country, bends in 
a large bow into the peninsula, which it traverses through its entire length 
from north to south, — afforded most convenient places for dwelling and settle- 
ment to herdsmen and peasants, on its high plains and declivities, and in the 
enclosed valleys formed by its broad ridges and the transverse spires and 
subsidiary ranges which branch out from east to west ; while the promontory 
and coast land adjoining it on three sides, especially the district on the western 
sea, was especially adapted to the development of regular commerce and the 
establishment of civic communities. The Apennines are chiefly composed 
of bare limestone rock, with many ravines and hollows, and are of a volcanic 
nature ; the highest peaks are covered with snow and ice until far into the 
summer, and here are to be found the sources of all the rivers of middle and 
lower Italy. In the mountains of the Abruzzi, in the ancient country of the 
Samnites, the range reaches its greatest height, and then divides into two chief 
branches — the lower south-eastern range, which, extending over Apulia and 
the Calabria of antiquity, terminates in the lapygian promontory ; and a steeper 
southerly range which, — penetrating through the country of the Brutti or 
Brettians, the Calabria of the present day, and in its lower course trending 
down close to the sea-coast, — is apparently interrupted by the great fissure at 
Rhegium, but in reality is continued onward through the beautiful mountain 
island of Sicily — which, with its fruitful, rich coast country, forms a continuation 
of Italy much in the same manner as the Peloponnesus constitutes a part of 

The broad main ridge of the lofty Apennines, through which the incon- 
siderable rivers of the middle and lower country take their way, lies nearer the 
east coast than the west ; consequently the rivers flowing into the Adriatic 
and Ionian Seas are in general small in volume and have a shorter course 
than those that pour their waters into the Lower or Tyrrhene Sea, among 
which the principal one is the mountain stream called the Tiber. 




I. Fragment of a Wall at Bovianum. II. At Lista. III. The Cucumella, a Funeral Mound and Tomb, 
at Vulci. IV. and VI. Remains of Walls at Volaterrae. V. At Olivano. VII. Wall and Gate at Signia. 

VIII. Wall and Pointed Arch at Arpium. 

The few plains of the country are partly fruitful strips of land, like the 
Campania, at the foot of the volcano Vesuvius, and the well-watered border- 
land between the two peninsulas into which the Apennine range runs ; partly 
morasses or plentifully watered valleys, covered with grass, such as the Pontine 
marshes south of the maritime city of Antium and the so-called Maremmas 



of Tuscany ; partly dry plains more or less resembling steppes, such as the 
Apulian and the Roman Campagna. 

Like Greece, the Italian peninsula is remarkable for its healthy, invigorating 
atmosphere ; for the bright sunny sky of dazzling blue that shines down upon 
it, for the grandeur of its general outlines, with glorious mountains and rocky 
coasts, and for the glassy expanse of ocean extending on all sides to the distant 
horizon. As in Hellas and the sheltered valleys of the Peloponnesus, so in 
Etruria and Campania, the rich luxuriance of trees and shrubs with their splendid 
southern fruits, above all the olive and the varied vegetation with its picturesque 
colours, formed the blessing and pride of the land ; — 

" Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast, 
The sons of Italy were surely blest." 

The Italian peninsula cannot indeed boast the rich variety of harbour and 
coast and the abundance of islands in the neighbouring sea, which at an early 
period incited the Hellenes to navigation and commercial activity ; but, for 
this reason, the Italian felt himself all the more impelled to prepare the fertile 
plains with plough and hoe for the cultivation of corn, where the earth yielded 
fruit a thousandfold from the seed-corn ; to plant the genial vine on the sunny 
hills and the smiling plains, to win from the juice of the grape the wine that 
gladdens the heart of man ; to press from the green olive the fragrant oil, to 
raise numerous flocks of sheep and goats and herd the oxen on the verdant 
mountain slopes, and in the cool, moist meadows and pastures to obtain for 
himself food and clothing in the milk, flesh, and wool of these herds and with 
the superfluity to purchase the other necessaries of life. The very name of 
Italy is derived from the fine cows and oxen which pastured in olden times 
on the grassy heights. The abundance of wolves and bears, and the host of 
wild animals that lurked in the depths of the thick forests of oaks and pine 
trees, invited the inhabitants to the invigorating chase — the prelude of war ; 
and the waters of the country and the neighbouring coasts yielded an abun- 
dant supply of fish, Crustacea, and shells for various purposes. 




The Populations of Central Italy before the Dominion of 

THE Romans. 

ACCORDING to the accounts given by the majority 
J'x, of historical investigators, Italy was inhabited in 
the most ancient times by Pelasgi, Tyrrhenes, who 
had come into the country from abroad, and by native 
herdsmen and peasant people of Iberian-Gallic descent, 
such as Umbrians, Osci, Sabelli, and others. The 
latter were distinguished from the immigrant population 
by the name of Aborigines, and quickly exchanged 
their primitive pastoral occupations for agriculture and 
the cultivation of the vine and the olive. In Etruria the 
Tyrrhene Pelasgians, — a civilized people accustomed to 
maritime industry, — are supposed to have been at an 



early period partly subjugated, partly driven away by the Etruscans or 
Tuscans, who had penetrated southwards from the Alpine regions of Rhoetia ; 
while the native populations, on the other hand, continued free and in- 
dependent, under different names, until they were at length subdued by 
the power of the Romans. The appellation " Aborigines " was especially 
bestowed on the inhabitants of Latium ; for which reason the old " Latins " 
may be regarded as a tribe of people established in the country from time 
immemorial, with a language akin to the Sabine and the Oscian ; and with this 
tribe, after the conquest of Troy, a Trojan colony, under the leadership of 
.^neas, is said to have united. A number of the earlier inhabitants of the 
country, the Sicani and Siculi, emigrated to the south, and at last peopled the 
island that took from them its name of Sicily. 

The Etruscans inhabited the present country of Tuscany as far as the banks 
of the Tiber. They formed a confederate State consisting of twelve independent 
townships or communities, of which Caere, Tarquinii, Perusia, not far from 
Lake Thrasimene, Clusium, and Veii are the most noted. The early inclina- 
tion of the communities to navigation, trade, and industry, appears to have 
been favourable to the progress of these commonwealths of confederate towns. 
The fact that the whole population was divided only into nobles and Penests, 
including serfs, vassals, and clients, and did not include a free plebeian class, 
seems indicative of foreign conquest and the subjugation of the original popula- 
tion. The different towns were therefore ruled by an ecclesiastical nobility, 
who administered the rites of religious worship, conducted political affairs and 
matters of law, as the natural guardians of the serfs, dependents, and clients, who 
cultivated the lands belonging to the temple and the property of their masters. 
The noble families, who were called Lucumones, or illustrious, of the various 
towns united to choose the chief of the whole confederacy, on whom were 
bestowed, as marks of distinction, the seat of ivory (the sella curtilis, or curule 
chair,) the purple toga, and a retinue of twelve lictors who carried the fasces, or 
bundles of rods with an axe in the centre, like the guard attending the Roman 
consuls of a later period. The ecclesiastical nobility were alone in possession 
of astronomical and scientific knowledge, on which was founded the religious 
worship of the twelve upper and lower gods ; it therefore belonged to this class 
to prepare the sacrifices with which the prophecies (Haruspicia) were connected, 
to fix the festival days, regulate the year, bring forward laws, and make arrange- 
ments for the affairs of war and oeace. 




EtrIjScan Industries, Manners and Customs, and Government. 

Their religion, with the dualistic belief in good and evil spirits, as well as 
their still undeciphered language, which was probably read from right to left, 
and in which the vowels were indicated more by the pronunciation than by 
the writing, points to an Eastern origin. The gigantic walls of Volaterras and 
other places, the monument of Porsenna, the ruins of colossal temple buildings, 
the traces of great dams, roads, canals (Philistian trenches), bear witness of 
their architectural skill, while the numerous clay vessels and cinerary urns, the 
Etruscan vases which have been found in many places above and below the 
ground, testify to their artistic and manufacturing industry. They were also 
celebrated for bronze casting and metal works ; and it is probable that the 



Romans derived their instruments for martial music from the Etruscans, as 
well as their religious ceremonies (perhaps from Ca^re), their magnificent pro- 
:essions, or triumphs, their arena, circus, and combats of gladiators (from 
apua). In earlier times the Etruscans carried on a great trade by sea, 
practising navigation and also piracy. " They possessed the most important 
articles of export from Italy, iron from Ilva, the modern Elba, copper from 
Campania and Volaterrae, and silver from Populonia. Nothing could prevent 
heir private war-ships from soon becoming a powerful navy, under whose 
protection their merchantmen ruled the seas. Thus was developed that wild 
Etruscan corsair system, which made the name of the Tyrrhenes a terror to 



the Greeks ; and also that extended commerce, which made the Etruscar 
merchant the rival of the Milesian trader at Sybaris." 

Of the colonies founded by the Etruscans, Fsesulas, Florence, Pistoria, Luce. 
Luna, Pisa, and others in the north, and Capua and Nola in the south, ar 
the most celebrated. The want of a free citizen class gave rise to enervatior 
effeminacy, and social grievances, which resulted in the early ruin of th . 
republic ; for, however prosperous agriculture, trade, commerce, and industi 
may for a time have appeared among the Etruscans, the want of liberty cause> 
the roots of the State to wither, and robbed the citizen and peasant class oi 
all lively courage and the consciousness of strength, which form the chief 
incentives to activity ; and however complete their civilization might be- 
come, it had not the creative power and the national basis which alone 
could give it strength and endurance. Knowledge did not exhibit itself among 
them in benevolent, mild influences diffused throughout the life of the com- 
munity ; it remained the exclusive property of the powerful dominant castes, 
which were protected by the law of primogeniture ; it was indissolubly bound 
up with religion, and surrounded itself with the terrors of a gloomy super- 




^:^.- '•^%»-'--C^-?^^ 


IE Umbrians, the Sabellian Tribes, Picentes, Osci, Latins, Etc. 

NEAR the Etruscans, who encroached 
upon their confines, dwelt the Um- 
brians ; like their neighbours, they formed 
a confederate state of independent town- 
ships, of which Ameria appears to have 
been the capital. In historical times the 
Umbrians had already become a great 
name that had passed away. 

In the valleys and on the heights of the 
Apennines dwelt the vigorous race of the 
Sabelli, which gradually spread over the 
greater portion of central and southern 
Italy. There prevailed among them the 
religious custom of vowing in troublous 
nes to hold a " ver sacrum " or " sacred Spring." 

In accordance with this oath, everything that was born in the ensuing spring, 
lether human creature or beast, was dedicated to the subterranean gods, 
pecially to Mars. The young animals were immediately sacrificed or let 
Dse ; the children born in that spring were appointed, after the expiration 
a certain number of years, to go forth like a swarm of bees over the 
undary, in order to conquer new abodes for themselves and their des- 

By this means over-population was prevented, and the nation also won 
3re extensive territory for their race. To the Sabellian race belonged in 
e first place the Sabines, a hardy, warlike, upright, and frugal people, 
/elling between the Apennines and the Tiber ; their towns wxre Cures, 
ate, Amiternum, Interamna, Nomentum, Nursia, and Trebula. Thei" 
ligion was a worship of nature. The strict family and tribal regulations 
th all the rights of paternal power and of property connected therewith, 
at may be considered as the foundation of the Roman State, had their root 
the Sabine tribe. Next came the Samnites, a colony of the Sabelli, sent 



forth on the occasion of a " sacred Spring." They dwelt in open places buil 
on both sides of the Apennines stretching over southern Italy, and weri 
united into a confederacy, but with no fixed capital as a centre. The strengtl 
of the country consisted in the different peasant communities. Being war 
like, hardy herdsmen and countrymen, the Samnites likewise loved militar 
exercises, and regarded liberty as their highest possession. Thus, it wa| 
only after long and bloody wars that the Romans reduced them to submission 
In honour of the " bull of Mars," under whom they had marched out, thej 
named their chief colony Bovianum. 

The smaller tribes were the Picentes, "woodpecker tribe," a people who ha( 
quickly fallen away from the old fashion of their manhood, and were settle* 
along the Adriatic sea-coast from the river Aternus, with the towns of Adrii 
Capra, and Truentum ; the Marsi, a warlike people on the Fucinian lake ; Or 


Vestini, with the town of Pinna ; the Marrucini, with the capital Teate ; tl ; 
Frentani, from the Aternus to the Frento ; the Peligni, with the fortifi^ 
places, Corfinium and Sulmo ; the Hirpini, around Beneventum ; and othel 
The Lucanians also, who possessed the territory of the old CEnotrians i 
southern Italy, and subjugated the Greek settlements on the coast, belong^ 
like the Campanians round Capua and Cumae, to the race of the Sabef 
But these tribes dwelling in the south, derived from the subjugated Gree" 
on the coast, in addition to their civilization, refinement, and artistic ski 
luxury, self-indulgence, and effeminacy, and this brought about their sped ' 
destruction. J 

All the Sabellian tribes lived under an aristocratic-patriarchal rule, obeyi ; 
the heads of families, or elders of the tribe, who, in times of war, placo 




ithemselves with their clients and dependents under a chief, or imperator. 
They jealously upheld the idea of purity of race and family, and celebrated 
their marriages under the protection of the authorities. A hardy, warlike 
people, they led a simple, temperate life in their open villages or slightly 
.fortified towns, and " settled their differences rather by the sword and the 
ilance than by love and justice." "Municipal institutions did not develope 
lamong them, or at best were present only in a slight degree ; they were 
jtoo isolated for commercial intercourse, and their mountain heights and 
citadels were sufficient for purposes of defence, while the peasants were 
accustomed to live in the unprotected hamlets, or wherever wood, stream, 
ior pasture afforded each one a suitable resting-place." 

The Osci, a tribe settled between the Tiber and the Laus, in Latium, 
ampania, and Lucania, and of kindred race to the Sabelli, dwelt for the most 

. -rC^ 


l|»art settled in towns, citadels, and fortified mountain regions. To them 
belonged the Volsci, on the coast as far as Terracina, or Anxur, with the chief 
-;wns Antium and Suessa Pometia, in the neighbourhood of the Pontine 
liarshes ; the Rutuli around Ardea to the north, and the Ausonians near 
Jeneventum and Cales, and on the coast betweeen the Volturnus and the 
l^iris to the south of the Volsci. The ^qui dwelt on the left bank of the 
>nio and on the Algidus ; they had at one time an extensive territory, in 
hich lay the charming towns of Praeneste and Tibur. The Aurunci dwelt 

^Dund Suessa ; the Hernici, or dwellers among the rocks, on the heights of the 
Ugidus. With them originated the Atellanae, a popular spectacle, accom- 
anied by dancing and gesticulation. 
The Latins, a strong nation of rustics, south of the Tiber, dwelt in thirty 



independent towns united into a confederation by treaties and a geners 
council ; among these towns Alba-longa had the precedence, at least in time 
of war. This Latin confederacy was the last development of the differen 
villages and hamlets, which, while they formed associations of families or clam 
and of neighbouring places, long existed in separate independence, and thai 
united for greater security according to districts forming confederacies, 
fortified citadel or place of refuge being established as a place for assemblin; 
as well as for defence ; until at last all were included in a general feder^ 
bond. Agriculture and civil liberty prospered among the Latini withoi; 
the institution of clientship, or a privileged military or ecclesiastical arij 
tocracy ; a common language, and a religion of equality, founded on thj 
worship of nature, and connected with the business of the cultivation of lane 
and including the god of harvests, Saturn ; Janus and Diana, as sun anj 
moon ; Ops, the plenty flowing from the earth, with other deities — and 
common equality of rights, united all the town communities together, thoug 
each managed its internal affairs quite independently of the rest and had ii 
own prince or king, who governed the commonwealth with the co-operatio 
of the council of elders, or Senate, and of the assembly of warriors. 

Among the towns to be specially noticed, besides Alba-longa, which .^neai 
son lulus is said to have founded, and where his successors enjoyed the h( 
reditary dignity of royalty, are Tusculum, Aricia, Gabii, Lavinium, Prcenest , 
and other places, having their origin for the most part in old district citadel: 
Annual legislative assemblies at the general place of council in the grove ij 
Ferentina, near the sacred spring, the '" festival of the Latins " with a sacrificii 
feast and a general peace, in honour of Jupiter Latiaris on the Alban mouri , 
equality and reciprocity in marriage (connubium), of civil rights, and of tl'; 
power of acquiring property, united the members of the various communitii 
into a well-ordered, free, and united confederacy of States. 





The Religious System of Italy. 


T has been already remarked, that the old 
inhabitants of Italy were partly kindred 
races of the Greek Pelasgi, — the affinity of 
race being apparent in the similarity of their 
religious conceptions as well as in their me- 
morials, such as treasure-chambers, store- 
houses, etc., — partly native tages, like the 
Sabelli and Osci. 

The population of Italy was at a later 
period increased by the immigration of foreign 
tribes, such as the Gauls in the north and the 
Hellenes in the south and east. The Tyr- 
rhenian Pelasgi formed the nucleus of the 
Etruscans, whose religious and ecclesiastical 
institutions, as well as their works of art, 
their mysterious teachings, and customs of 
prophecy, were subsequently handed down to the Romans. Among the 
nations of ancient Italy who possessed a special religious worship, the Latins 
and Sabines are the most important. 

Among the gods of the Latins, some correspond with the Greek conceptions 
of deities, others are peculiar to the Italian world. To the former class belong 
Tellus, the earth, Saturn, the god of harvest, and his wife Ops, originally goddess 
of the earth, then the personification of plenty or wealth. These two are 
similar to Kronos and Rhea, and signify the prosperity of past ages, based 

on agriculture ; Jupiter (invested 
with many attributes and sur- 
names, such as Feretrius, Dies- 
pater, Dijovis, etc.) and his wife 
Juno are represented as light- 
givers, and divinities of the 
daylight, and as leading the 
human progeny, at birth, to the 
light of day ; hence Juno Lucina. 
To the latter class of deities, 
those peculiar to Italy, belongs 
the Janus or Dianus, represent- 
ed with two faces, as the god 
of change, and of every com- 
mencement or introduction of 
a new thing ; therefore he was 
also the god of thresholds and 
gates. His temple in Rome 
remained open so long as the 
town was engaged in any war- 
like contest. With Janus, the 
original god of the sun, is asso- 
ciated the goddess of the moon, Diana, common to all the Latini. 

Faunus and Fauna are prophesying gods of the woods ; similar to them was 
Lupercus, the protector against the wolves, who had a very ancient temple 
at the foot of the mount Palatinus in Rome, and was honoured with a 




celebrated popular festival, Lupercalia, or "wolfs festival." Picus and 
Pilumnus were old Roman and Latin gods who were associated with 
agriculture and the produce of the fields ; the prophetic Picus (the wood- 
pecker) was regarded as a horse-tamer, hunter, and warrior, as the equivalent 
of the Sabinian Mars. A very ancient Latin deity, also venerated by the 
Sabini, and especially worshipped in Rome up to the end of the fourth 
century, was the goddess Vesta, or Hestia, the divinity of the hearth and of 
the settled dwelling-place, in whom is idealized " the house and the secure 
hearth, which the cultivator of the soil establishes for himself, instead of the 
temporary hut and oft-removed hearth of the herdsman." In the rich temple 
of Vesta on the Roman Forum, an ever-burning fire was guarded by virgin 
priestesses, called vestals, who were regarded with high respect, and invested 
with many privileges. The}'' were considered as the beloved daughters of the • 
Roman people, who always kept alive the sacred fire of the common hearth, 
as an example and a token to the citizens. 

Fortuna, the goddess of fate at Prseneste and Antium, who gave her oracles 
in the form of lots, was likewise held in great veneration. Ferentina was the 
goddess of the Latin confederacy, as was also the divinity Fcronia, derived 
from the Sabines. In the grove of Feronia the assemblies of the league were 
held. As the Latini were an agricultural people, they revered a great number 
of agrarian gods, who were connected with sowing, fruitfulness, the blessings . 
of harvest, and landmarks, such as Anna Perenna, Venus, etc. 




^ isi-7^T7w'ij';f A»^~J7\fN6..r>wl^:'A' '^"A/r T:7^77^ 'rJ^' fsjl'j ij 'uJ\rJrjyi;^ ^J'LM,^-T^ • ^ ^ g^ ^^o^^^j^ 

■t^a^J / A'/V'l^'.Vv/A •\'11^L'JJ-^US-, 

The Gods of the Latin and Sabine Nations. 

^ HE national god of the Sablni was the prophesying Sancus, 
' the father of Sabus. Feronia, the goddess of their league, 
was a divinity of the earth, to whom flowers and the first- 
fruits of the harvest were offered ; her festival, in common 
with that of the Chthonian god Deispater, was held on the 

As a warlike race, the Sabini chiefly reverenced two 
gods of war ; one was Mars, and the other, associated with 
him, Quirinus. The ancient Italian divinity, Mars, was 
more intimately associated with the State and daily life 
than the Greek god of the tumult of war. He was rever- 
enced first under the form of defensive and offensive 
weapons, the shield and the lance ; this is seen in the 
Roman myth of the miraculous shield that fell from 
heaven, and was worshipped as the palladium of the State, 
to which eleven other subordinate shields (ancilia) were 

To the worship of Mars belongs the sacred Spring {yer sacrum) peculiar to 
the Sabcllian tribe, and important in colonization, of which mention has been 
already made. From this sacred popular custom arose the Picenti, led by 
the sacred bird of the god, Picus, or woodpecker, and the Hirpini, who fol- 
lowed the wolf, another animal consecrated to Mars. Quirinus was an ancient 
Sabinian divinity of the spear and warfare, who was transplanted to Rome, 
and there associated with Romulus, the founder of the city. Sol, the sun, and 
Luna, the moon, were also old Sabinian divinities. 

As the population of Rome consisted of Latins, Sabines, and Etruscans, all 
the gods and religious institutions of these races were established in the city 
on the Tiber. The most distinguished divinities, the chief representatives 



of the community of the gods of heaven, were Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, in 
whom were personified the highest power, the highest womanhood, and the 
highest wisdom. With them was also associated Mars, who may be con- 
sidered the special national god of the Romans, and Janus and Vesta, the 
most venerated. In the family and domestic life of the Romans, the worship 
of the Lares and Penates was considered of the highest importance. In the 
atrium, the general family and dining hall, — under the "black covering" 
where the man received the guests, and the woman of the house sat spinning 
surrounded by her maids, — was the sacred place over the hearth, where the 
Lares and Penates were represented by simple carved figures. 

At the head of the Roman system of worship were the Pontifices, the 
guardians of the state religion, with the Pontifex Maximus as the highest 
ecclesiastical authority. The Pontifices were the "bridge-builders," who 
understood the secrets of measure and number ; for which reason the duty 
devolved upon them of drawing up the calendar of the State, of announcing 
the new and the full moon to the people, and of taking care that every 
religious observance, as well as every transaction of justice, should take place 
on the right day. In this association we have to seek the commencement 
of historical record, and of the administration of justice. The sacred customs 
and sacrifices of burnt- offerings were celebrated by priests, called Flamines ; 
with each of the principal gods and temples one or more of these priests was 
associated ; but among them the Flamen Dialis, who dwelt on the Palatinus, 
received the greatest veneration. 

The worship of Mars was administered by the ecclesiastical college of the 
twelve Salians (Springers), who performed the war-dance accompanied with 
song, in the month of March. The twelve Arvales Fratres, with their 
numerous followers, served the goddess of earth and agriculture, who, as Dea 
Dia, the creative goddess of the civic fields, was venerated in a sacred grove 
on the " field road " on the right bank of the Tiber, and may be considered as 
corresponding to Tellus, Ceres, Ops, and Flora. Of the sacrificial invocations 
and prayers, with which the priestly brotherhood invoked the blessing of the 
divinity on the seed in May, a few have been preserved. Besides this system 
of worship sanctified by tradition and popular religion, there were developed 
in Rome at an early period, a great number of abstract ideas originating in 
Pantheistic theories which were personified as deities. These deities could 
only be regarded as allegorical figures, such as Victoria, Concordia, Roma, 
Fides or faith, Quies or rest, Febris, Mephitis, fever etc. Subsequent com- 
munication with the Greeks still further increased the number of Roman 
divinities ; the worship of the prophesying Sibyllse, likewise especially of 
the Cumaean and their oracles, the Sibylline books, appear to have originated 
in Greece. 

The Italian races, especially the Latins and Sabines, had at first a great 
dislike to gods in human form ; their deities were ideal conceptions, having 
no clear and distinct shape, and no mythology. Therefore these deities were 
frequently intermingled. It was the influence of Greek sculpture and mythic 
poetry that first brought about a more decided separation of the various 
deities and a more defined worship, "As everything appeared in the con- 
crete and material form to the Greeks, so the Roman, on the other hand, could 
only use abstract, perfectly transparent forms, and could not therefore begin 
with the old legendary treasure of very ancient times, which he no longer 
comprehended." In the Greek mythology, the person prevailed ; in the 
Roman, the abstract conception ; in the one case liberty, in the other 



necessity. "Throughout the whole of nature," says Mommsen, "the ItaHan 
venerated the spiritual and the universal ; to every being, to the man as to 
the tree, to the State as to the store-room (penates) is given the spirit which 
originates with it and passes away with it, the counterfeit of the physical in 
the spiritual region." 




The Tradition of Numitor, Amulius and Rhea Silvia. — Romulus 
AND Remus. — The Founding of Rome, 753 e.g. — Death of Re- 
mus. — The Abduction of the Sabine Women. — Titus Tatius, 

THE Sabine King. — Numa Pompi- 
Lius. — State and Religious In- 
stitutions. — Tullus Hostilius 
and Angus Martius. — Enlarge- 
ment AND Improvement of the 
City. — Tarquin the Elder. — 
Building of the Capitol. — Ser- 
vius TuLLius. — Division of the 
Romans into Classes. — Murder 
of the King by His Son-in-Law. 
— Tarquin the Proud. — His Ex- 
pulsion and its Causes. — The 
Most Ancient Government and 
Laws of Rome. — ConstitutioxNT 
OF THE Roman State Under the 

IT is told in an old tradition, how | 
king Numitor of Alba-longa, a suc- 
cessor of the Trojan yEneas, was robbed 
of the throne by his brother, Amulius ; 











and how his daughter, Rhea Silvia, was consecrated as a priestess of Vesta ; 
that as a virgin, according to the pleasure of the goddess, she might guard the 
sacred fire and perform the sacrificial service. When, however, she bore the 
twins, Romulus and Remus, to Mars, the god of war, her severe uncle com- 
manded that the children should be thrown into the Tiber, which was just 
then swollen beyond its usual level. But when the flood had subsided, the 
box in which the children lay was left hanging on a fig-tree, and the boys 
were suckled by a wolf and reared by shepherds. 

When, by chance, they afterwards learned the story of their birth, and the 
fate that had befallen their grandfather, they gave back to Numitor the throne 
of Alba-longa ; and then, on the spot where they had been so miraculously 
saved, on the Palatine hill, by the left bank of the Tiber, where the Latin 
herdsmen possessed ancient settlements and were accustomed to celebrate 
the worship of their gods of earth and nature with pastoral festivals and 
sacrifices of purification, they founded the town of Rome, in the year 753 B.C. ; 
the newly-raised walls having, however, been stained with the blood of Remus, 
who was slain in consequence of a quarrel, by his brother Romulus. The 
" Wolfs feast " or Lupercalia, which the family of the Fabii used to celebrate 
by the Palatine hill, — a feast of shepherds and peasants, which, more than 
any other, preserved the simple jests of patriarchal simplicity, — may probably 
have been brought down from these ancient times. 

When the little town was founded and its limits had been defined by a 
furrow drawn round it, — which, being deepened, formed the moat, while the 
earth thrown up from it composed the rampart, — Romulus declared it to be 
a city of refuge for fugitives, and thus attracted inhabitants to it. But as the 
new community had no wives, and the neighbouring tribes hesitated to marry 
their daughters to these men, Romulus caused a festival to be celebrated, that 
by the forcible abduction of the Sabine women he might obtain violently 
what had been refused to him in friendship. The new colony was thus 
embroiled in a war with the Sabines ; but the contest was abruptly ended by 
the mediation of the women who had been carried off; for with dishevelled 
hair and rent garments they threw themselves between the combatants, im- 
ploring peace, and declaring that they would share the fate of the Romans. 
A treaty was concluded, by which the Sabines dwelling on the Capitoline 
hill were united into one community with the Latins on Mount Palatine ; 
and some time afterwards they associated with them a colony of Etruscans 
on the Caelius, an agreement being made that the Sabine king, Titus Tatius, 
who had dwelt in Cures, should carry on the government in conjunction with 
Romulus ; and that in future a Latin and a Sabine should be chosen alter- 
nately as king by the Senate, which consisted of the most distinguished chiefs 
of families. This secured the existence of the State, whose founder, after 
his mysterious decease, was worshipped as a divinity under the name of 
Quirinus, and whose citizens adopted the name of Quirites, from Cures, 
besides that of Romans. 

In remembrance of the noble deed of the women, and the work of recon- 
ciliation which they accomplished, Romulus established the festival of the 
Matronalia, and granted them many rights and honourable privileges. The 
similarity of their institutions of government and daily life, and of religious 
beliefs and customs and civil institutions, as well as the neighbourly inter- 
course which had already long since brought about between them treaties 
and agreements as to the laws of property, marriage, hospitality, etc., facili- 
tated the rapid blending of the three races and of their national peculiarities 



into a regular commonwealth with firmly established rights. These three 
fundamental elements of the Roman State appear to have formed the ground- 
work in the ancient division of the people into the tribes of Ramnes, Titles, 
and Luceres. 

'l]ii:;||j||li!L . ^ ^ , , 

"''''||||''illMll'l'll||!l!liiii;i' "'iiir iiiiiiiiiiii 




In order that a sacred bond might establish the new commonwealth still 
more securely, — so the historical tradition goes on to relate, — the second king, 
the wise Sabine Numa Pompilius, who reigned from 714 to 652, instituted rules 



for religion and worship, in which he had full regard to the old faith and the 
accustomed usages of the three races ; and he issued good regulations for 
domestic and social life, with which religious faith and sacred customs were 
very closely interwoven. 

The maidens who guarded the sacred fire of Vesta, and who were invested 
Avith great privileges and honours, as well as all regulations and customs 
connected with agriculture and field-husbandry, were of Latin origin. The 
worship of Mars, with its priests the Salii, and its institutions connected with 
the rights and usages of war, such as the Fetiales or heralds, seems to owe 
its origin to the warlike race of Sabelli. From the Etruscans, who were at 
first somewhat neglected, were derived the traditions of the ceremonial and 
ritual of sacrifice, the custom of prophesying from the flight of the birds, the 
heavenly signs, and the feeding of the fowls (Haruspicia, Auspices, Auguries), 


under the control of an ecclesiastical college, called Pontifices, with a high- 
priest, the Pontifex Maximus, at their head. The oldest corporations of 
handicraftsmen also, whose members, as less honourable, were excluded from 
the right of bearing arms, were attributed to this king. And that the law of 
property might be respected, and fidelity and good faith might be practised 
in trade and commerce, Numa established a temple and a form of worship 
to Fides, the idea of faithfulness and mutual confidence. To Janus, "the 
god of every beginning in space or time," looking forwards and backwards 
with a twofold countenance, he consecrated a portico at the entrance of the 
Forum, the gates of which were open in times of war, and closed in times 
of peace ; he also made this god the ruler of the civil year, and dedicated to 
him the first month, January. And so much honoured was the wise priest- 



king by all the races, that they made no wars on Rome ; and therefore during 
his reign the gates of the temple of Janus were closed. As the Greeks caused 
their laws to be ratified by divine oracles, so Numa Pompilius declared that 
he had received his religious regulations from the colloquies he held with the 
nymph Egeria, whose sacred grove lay southward from Rome. 

The two succeeding kings, the Latin Tullus Hostilius (651-640), and the 
Sabine Ancus Marcius (639-616) increased the territory of the little State by 
successful wars. Besides the three before-mentioned hills, Palatinus, Capitol, 
and Cffilius, four others were included in the confines of the city, namely, 
Aventinus, Ouirinalis, Viminalis, and Esquilinus, and these new districts were 
gradually peopled. Thus Rome came to be called the city of the seven hills. 
Under Tullus Hostilius, through the victorious combat between the Horatir 
and the Curiatii, the Romans obtained the dominion over Alba-longa, some ot 


whose inhabitants, after the destruction of their town, were established at the 
foot of the mountain in Bovillee, while the rest were carried off to Rome — 
where, being placed under the protection of the Roman law, they probably 
formed the origin of the class of Plebeians ; whose numbers were greatly in- 
creased under the next king, Ancus Marcius, the founder of the harbour-town 
of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber, by the settlement of the conquered citizens 
of the surrounding places. A third of their land was usually taken from the 
conquered districts and converted into farms, which were given to Roman 
peasants. It has been asserted with truth, that no people has ever, like the 
Romans, after obtaining possession of conquered territory by the sweat of 
its brow, so completely won a second time with the ploughshare what had 
been first gained by the lance. The public lands belonging to the State, and 



a great portion of the private lands of the conquered districts, were confiscated 
by the Romans. With the subjugation of Alba-longa, the rights of supremacy 
this town had possessed as the capital of the Latin confederacy probably 
passed over to Rome, whose delegates from thenceforward assumed the pre- 
sidency at the festivals of the league. 

The Later Kings of Rome. 


THE last three kings, Tarquin the Elder 
(Priscus) (615-578), Servius Tullius 
(577-534), and Tarquinius Superbus, or the 
Proud (534-509), belonged to the Etruscan 
race, as may be judged from the buildings 
they erected, and from the transplanting of 
Etruscan institutions to Rome in their time. 
During their reigns the conditions of the 
Latin league were regulated, and Rome was 
elevated to the position of the capital of a 
prosperous country. A perpetual peace, and 
an alliance for attack and defence, with reci- 
procal equality of rights in trade and com- 
merce and in general affairs, bound these 
communities, which were already united by 
identity of language and customs, still more 
closely by the thousand-fold relations of 
business intercourse. The chief command 
in the army of the league was at first given alternately to Rome and Latium, 
The elder Tarquinius laid the foundation of the mighty building called 
the Capitol, which his son Tarquinius Superbus completed according to his 
father's design. This building consisted of the citadel and of the noble 
temple dedicated to the three chief gods. It was built according to the 
Tuscan order of architecture, and had three niches or shrines. In the centre 
one of these Jupiter was enthroned, while statues of Minerva and Juno occu- 
pied the spaces on the right and left. At the same time Tarquinius founded 
the great Roman games in honour of the Jupiter Capitolinus. These were 
celebrated on the Ides of September, with a sacrificial festival and contests 
in the circus. He further established, for the draining and purification of the 
city, the immense sewers, or cloaca, strongly built of blocks of stone, as well 
as the Forum and the Circus Maximus, an oblong arena, terminating at one 
end in a semicircle, and used for races in chariots or on horseback. It was 
Tarquin the Elder, also, who first assumed the symbols of the supreme power — 
the ivory throne, or sella curulis, the retinue of twelve lictors with fasces, etc. 
He increased the number of the Senate founded by Romulus from two hundred 
to three hundred members, so that out of every family or "gens" the eldest 
member had a seat in that assembly ; from which circumstance the senators 
were called Patres. The representation of the State by these three hundred 
colleagues was regarded as the natural and normal condition of rule, alike in 
the political community and in the constitution of the army. Tarquinius also 
made war successfully against the Etruscans and Sabines. 

After the murder of Tarquin the Elder, perpetrated at the instigation of 
the sons of his predecessor Ancus, by two hired assassins, the legendary 
history of the Roman kings further relates that queen Tanaquil caused her 



son-in-law Servius TulHus to obtain possession of the throne. By means of 
the Servian Constitution, which appears to have been less the special creation 
of a lawgiver than the result of the natural growth and development of 









existing circumstances, the new king carried the Roman government an 
important step forward. He introduced two regulations for the managcrnent 
of the army and public affairs, which had very important results. He divided 




the city and territory of Rome into a number of districts or regions, called 
tribes ; there were four districts for the town and twenty-six for the country. 
These were again subdivided into smaller areas, those in the town being called 
" vici," and those in the country " pagi ;" and these smaller districts had pro- 
bably each its temple for the Plebeians, and may thus be regarded as "parishes." 
The inhabitants of each of these districts formed a separate community with 
its own chief, whose duty it was to keep a register of all the inhabitants, and 
a record (a kind of Doomsday Book) of all their lands, dwellings, and posses- 
sions, for the purpose of taxing them and of summoning them to military 
service. Thereupon Servius divided the whole inhabitants of the State, ac- 
cording to their property, into five classes (census), and these again into one 
hundred and ninety-three centiiria, so that the political position and citizen- 
ship of each one depended on the amount of his property, and no one was 
entirely excluded from the exercise of political rights. The first class, which 
absorbed no fewer than eighty centuria, was probably exclusively composed 
of patricians, and was originally equal in importance to the four others put 
together, until later, when a reinforcement of the army from the lower classes 
became necessary, the fifth class was increased from twenty centuria to thirty. 
The eighteen centuria of the knights or eques probably also belonged to the 
Patrician families. Though the Patricians occupied a privileged position, as 
the richer and more prosperous citizens, they were also more highly taxed, and 



more frequently called upon for military service. A sixth class (the capite 
censi, or those estimated by heads) which included the proletarians, or lower 
people who possessed nothing, was free from taxation and military service, 
but also destitute of influence in the government. Thus the citizens were 
constituted into an armed force, to protect their homes and bid defiance to 
their enemies ; and also, at the same time, they formed a civil assembly for 
the decision of all questions concerning the well-being of the State. No one 
was entirely excluded from participation in general affairs, but to every one 
was apportioned such a share of burdens and duties as he could undertake, 
and such a portion of rights as was equitable. 

From this time the Comitise, appointed according to centuria, were re- 
garded as the true popular assemblies. The common people, or plebeians, 


voted in the Tributa ; while the Patrician families, or old citizens, met for their 
deliberations in the Curiata. By this innovation, which was intended to bring 
about a gradual blending of the strengthening and aspiring Plebeian class 
with Patrician families or old citizens, and to rear the lofty structure of 
royalty on a broader foundation of popular power, Servius Tullius drew on 
himself the hatred of the nobility ; and he was in consequence murdered with 
their assistance by his son-in-law Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. 

Although Tarquinius now once more curtailed the rights which had been 
granted to the Plebeians by the constitution of Servius, extended the 
boundaries of the State by successful wars with the Latins and Volsci, and 
beautified the town by new buildings, such as the Capitol, and by useful 
institutions, he was likewise soon detested by the Patricians, as his efforts were 




directed towards elevating the kingly power, with the help of the army, and 
transforming his limited elective sovereignty into an unlimited and heredi- 
tary kingship. His tyrannical acts towards the Senate and the Patricians, 
together with the oppressive taxation and task-work with which he punished 
the Plebeians, created general dissatisfaction, which at last passed into open 
insurrection ; when the dark crime, perpetrated by one of the king's sons, 
Sextus Tarquinius, on the virtuous Lucretia, compelled her to commit suicide, 
and roused the people to revenge against the wicked family. Two relatives 
of the royal house, L. Tarquinius Collatinus, the husband of the noble Lucretia, 
and his friend Lucius Junius, who had until then been regarded as imbecile, 
and therefore called Brutus (blockhead), swore an oath of vengeance over the 
dead body, and called upon the people of Collatia and Rome, in the year 509, 
to strike for liberty and the abolition of the tyrannical sovereignty. On 
hearing of these proceedings, the king, who was with his army before Ardea, 
the fortified rocky town of the Rutuli, to which he had just laid siege, hastened 
to Rome, in order to quell the insurrection ; but he found the gates closed. 
And when a decision of the popular assembly deprived him of the sovereignty, 
and even his troops deserted him, he was compelled to withdraw and to go 
with his sons into exile. 





The most Ancient Government and Laws of Rome. 

By the union of the three nationahties in the Roman commonwealth, there 
naturally arose three divisions of the people, called tribes or races — the Latin 
Ramnes, the Sabine Titles, and the Etruscan Luceres. 

Every tribe in the State was divided into ten Curis, or "guardianships," 
founded upon an equal number of connected families or clans, known as 
Gentes. None but those who belonged to one of these Gentes, each of 
which consisted of various families, at first related to each other, but after- 
wards divided by various separations into different lines, could enjoy com- 
plete civic rights and be numbered among the Patricians. 

The family included only those individuals who were able to trace their 
descent through each successive generation from an early ancestor of the 
tribe. These were the Gentiles. The race, on the other hand, included those 
who could merely prove their own descent from a common ancestor, but 
could not trace their pedigree step by step, and show the exact degree of 

Besides these free citizens, — who enjoyed perfect equality of rights, were 
allowed to assume the same simple garb, the toga of white woollen material, 
and whose right as well as duty it was to practise martial exercises, — there were, 
even in the most ancient times, in Rome as in the whole of central Italy, 
half-free citizens, or dependents, Clientes, called " protected men," a number 
of them being assigned to each gens. They were partly descendants of the 
older inhabitants of the country, who had been despoiled of their land and 
property by the conquering tribes, and therefore placed in a condition of 
religious protection ; partly the offspring of unequal marriages, liberated bonds- 
men, foreign settlers, or impoverished dwellers on the frontier, who sought 
employment in Rome. Between the Gentiles, as protectors or patrons, and 
the Clientes, as the protected, there arose " a relationship of piety," founded on 
a religious basis, with reciprocal rights and duties. The master of the house 
had to protect and represent the people connected with him, while the latter 
were bound to honour and obey the head of the house as a father. Different 
in position from the Clientes were the Plebeians, who subsequently came 




forward as opponents of the Patrician free citizens. Originally they had been 
inhabitants of the conquered neighbouring towns, who, having settled at Rome, 
certainly enjoyed personal freedom, and possessed a small property ; but they 
had not civil and political rights as compared with the Patricians or old 
citizens, with whom they were not even permitted to intermarry. Neverthe- 
less the Plebeians, in spite of their want of political rights, were included with 
the Patricians as members of the Commonwealth or State, and thus appear 
to have stood in as good a position with regard to private rights as the old 
citizen inhabitants themselves. There were, besides, slaves and freedmen. 


The house and the family, — that is to say, the free man, and the wife who 
had been solemnly married to him by the priests, with the ceremony of com- 
munion of fire and water, by the sacred salt-meal (the rite known as Confar- 
reatio), with his sons and daughters, the children of his sons and the whole 
property, — were represented as a unity by the father and master of the house, 
whose power over wife and child and all the possessions was unlimited. He 
exercised judicial rule, and could at his pleasure even inflict the punishment 
of death. The extinction of a house was regarded as a misfortune, for the 
prevention of which those who were childless in the community were allowed 
to adopt children, who inherited all rights, and were bound to fulfil all the 

A A 




duties of real sons and daughters towards those who adopted them. After 
the death of the master of the house, the guardianship (tutela) over the widow 
was exercised by the sons, and over the unmarried sisters by their brothers. 
For though the wife was not kept back from the acquisition of money and 
property, and though the mother and daughters had an equal share in an in- 
heritance with the sons, the wife was still considered as belonging to the house, 
not to the community, and was always " subject to the house." 

The Story of the Murder of Servius Tullius. 

RADITION has described in the form of a tragic and 
terrible story the transfer of the regal power from Ser- 
vius Tullius to Tarquinius Superbus. The two brothers 
Lucius and Aruns, the sons of Tarquin the elder, had 
married the two daughters of king Servius. Lucius, who 
was " capable of crime, though not prone to it from his 
own inclination," was wedded to the elder daughter, 
Tullia, a gentle and pious woman; Aruns, an honourable 
and faithful man, was married to the younger sister, a 
woman of savage and merciless character. Angry at 
the prolonged life of her old father, and at the indiffer- 
ence of her husband, who seemed inclined to resign the 
throne when it should become vacant, to his ambitious 
brother, she swore destruction to both. She made an 
agreement with Lucius, that he should murder his wife and she her husband, 
and then they, the two criminals, would marry each other. " Without even 
the appearance of grief, they lighted their wedding torch at the funeral 
pile." Thereupon Lucius, urged on by his ambitious wife, entered into a 
negotiation with a party of discontented patricians, and formed a conspiracy 
for the overthrow of the noble king Servius. At the time of the harvest, 
when a*arge number of the people were in the country, Tarquinius appeared 
in the Senate, adorned with the royal insignia and surrounded by an armed 
retinue. On hearing of this proceeding, the king hastened valiantly into 
the Curia. As he stood in the doorway he reproached Tarquinius, whom 
he called a rebel ; whereupon the murderer seized the weak old man, and 
threw him down the stone steps. Bleeding and stunned, Servius was lifted 
up and borne away by his faithful followers ; but before he reached his 
dwelling, some servants of the tyrant overtook and killed him. The corpse 
they left weltering in its blood. In the meantime Tullia had been waiting to 
receive intelligence of the success of the crime, till she could no longer control 
her impatience. She made her way through the midst of the tumult to the 
Curia, and greeted her husband as king. Even to him her exultation was 
horrible ; he bade her turn back. In a street, which from that time bore the 
name of " the accursed," she found the body of her father lying in her path. 
The mules started back, the servant drew in the reins ; but she commanded 
him to drive on over the corpse. The carriage and her robe were splashed 
with her father's blood. Guarded by a few faithful attendants, the body was 
taken by night out of the city ; for Tarquinius, alarmed at the excitement 
and anger that had arisen among the people, did not venture to allow the 
funeral procession to pass through the Forum, according to the usual custom. 
Long after the time of the kings in Rome had passed away, the Roman 
people continued to celebrate with grateful remembrance the birthday of 
their popular monarch. 




The Story of Lucius Junius Brutus, and of Lucretia. 

THE overthrow of the tyrant and the expulsion 
of the royal family have been romantically 
embellished by tradition, in the Greek histories of 
the tyrants, Tarquinius is represented as being 
terrified by bad dreams and by omens prognosti- 
cating evil. He therefore sent two of his sons, 
Titus and Aruns, to Delphi, to obtain counsel of 
the Pythian god. To amuse them on the way, he 
despatched with them as a companion a cousin, 
Lucius Junius Brutus, who was looked upon as a 
man of weak intellect, because he affected to be 
foolish and half-witted, in order to escape the 
deadly suspicion of the tyrant. After they had 
obtained the answer of the oracle, the king's sons 
questioned the god about their own destiny ; and 
it was foretold to them that the sovereignty of 
Rome would fall to him among them who should be the first to kiss his 
mother after their return. Thereupon the brothers agreed between them- 
selves, that they would kiss their mother simultaneously, and would then 
rule together. But when they landed in Italy, Brutus fell, as though ac- 
cidentally, on the ground, and, unnoticed, kissed the earth, the common 
viother of all. Some time afterwards, when the Romans were engaged in 
a lengthened siege of the strong town of Ardea, belonging to the Rutuli, 
the sons of the king and their cousin Tarquinius Collatinus, the tributary 
prince of the small town of Collatia, were disputing about the virtues and the 



j^ood qualities of their wives. The quarrel became animated. The princes 
undertook a journey by night from the camp, in order to surprise their wives, 
and see what the fair dames were doing in their absence. At Rome they 
found their royal ladies at a sumptuous banquet, and feasting amid flowers 
and wine ; thence the young men hastened to Collatia, where, at a late hour 
of the night, they found Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, diligently spinning 
surrounded by her maids. She looked so beautiful as she sat among them, 
that she excited a lawless passion in Sextus Tarquinius, who returned on the 
following day to Collatia, and repaired to his cousin's house, where he was 
hospitably received by Lucretia. In the stillness of the night, he entered her 
chamber armed, and by terrible threats compelled her to surrender herself to 
him. On the following morning she summoned her father and her husband 
to her, sending word to them that a horrible calamity had befallen her. 
Lucretius came, accompanied by P. Valerius, the same who afterwards 
obtained the name of Publicola, and by Collatinus; and they brought with them 
the despised Brutus. The inconsolable Lucretia, with many bitter tears, told 
them of the disgrace she had undergone, solemnly adjured her father and her 
husband to avenge the cruel wrong, and then stabbed herself to the heart 
with a dagger. The moment had now arrived for Brutus " to throw off his 
disguise, as Odysseus had thrown off the beggar's mantle." Holding the 
bloody dagger over his head, he swore destruction to the sinful house of the 
Tarquins ; and over Lucretia's corpse the bond of vengeance was ratified. 
The young men accompanied the funeral procession to Rome. Here the 
gates were closed, and Brutus, as tribune of the celeres, or commander of the 
knights, summoned the people to the assembly. All classes were inflamed 
with one common feeling ; with one voice the decree of the citizens deposed 
the last king from his office, and sentenced him and his family to banishment. 
Tullia escaped uninjut-ed from the city ; and the people left the task of exe- 
cuting vengeance upon her to the spirits of the dead. 

.-it>^..- ^ 






Constitution of the Roman State Under the Kings. 

THE Roman State consisted of King, 
Senate, and People (populus, that is 
to say, the totahty of the Patricians). The 
royalty of ancient Rome was limited by the 
will of the nation, which made itself known 
partly in a direct manner in the assemblies 
of the nation, partly by means of an au- 
thority conferred upon the Senate. It was 
thus " a chief power, established and recog- 
nised by the people and accorded by them 
from free choice," having its "source of justi- 
fication " in the people, and returning again 
to them after the king's death, to be con- 
ferred on another person. When the king 
was chosen and had received the priestly 
dedication, or inauguration, he appeared 
before the community of the people in the 
same relationship as the father of the house 
towards the family. He exercised unlimited 
power as commander of the army and chief 
judge, and was entitled to the honour of the 
insignia brought over from Etruria. When 
he appeared clothed with his official func- 
tions the Lictors marched before him with 
axes and fasces ; on the speaking days 
(fasti) he held a court of justice sitting on 
the seat of authority, the curule chair, in the 
market-place ; he also possessed an ecclesiastical character, and in this quality 



he had authority over the sacrifices and the system of prophecy. For his 
maintenance a considerable crown demesne was set apart from the common 
property. Other revenues were obtained from the harbour tolls, fines, and the 
tax paid for protection by the settlers who were not citizens. For public 
work, and service in the State and army, no remuneration was given. 

When the king died, the Council of Elders met together without summons 
and appointed a provisional king, or Interrex, for five days ; by him the new 
king was then selected, and the choice was confirmed by the Senate and 
citizens. The Senate was originally an assembly or council freely chosen by 
the king for his lifetime, from the elders of the families, in which he himself or 
his deputy, the prefect of the town, exercised the chief authority and presi- 
dency, but whose expressions of opinion he was obliged to receive in all matters 
connected with the State. The Senate also had its part in the government of 
the State, and took the initiative by its deliberations, called Senatus-consulta, 
in all the proposals brought forward in the popular assembly with regard to 
war and peace, and legislation. The number of the Senators corresponded with 
that of the tribes ; so that the increase of the latter, through the enfranchise- 
ment of new communities, resulted also in an increased number of seats in the 
Senate. Under the government of the kings the number was raised to three 

The rights belonging to the popular assemblies, or Comitiae, were the 
choice of a King, the acceptance, rejection, and abrogation of laws, the 
admission to citizenship, the pardoning of condemned citizens, demanded by 
the favour of the community (law of provocation), and the decision as to 
peace or war. Only when the assembly of the people, or Comitia, was unani- 
mous with the Council and the King in the declaration of war, was the war 
regarded as a just one, "on which the blessing of the gods might rightfully 
be expected." The original separation of the whole people into Patricians 
and Plebeians gave place in time to a division according to classes, namely, 
Senators, Knights, and Plebeians. The two former wore a gold ring as 
a mark of distinction, and on the inner garment, or tunic, a stripe cf purple, 
broad for the Senators and narrow for the Knights. 

The New Arrangement of the State. — The Senate and the Con- 
suls, Qu^sTORS, Etc. — Struggles of the New Republic. — The 
Etruscan King Porsenna. — Horatius Cocles. — Mucius Sc^evola. 
— Efforts of Tarquin to Recover His Authority. — Battle of 
Lake Regillus. — Quarrels Between Patricians and Plebeians. 
• — The Emigration of the People to the Mons Sacer. — The 
Reasons for this Step. — The Cruel Laws of Debt. — Attempts 
AT Compromise. — Tyranny of the Patricians. — Marcus Valerius 
THE Dictator. 

,^,.^,^FTER the expulsion of Tarquinius, the highest power 
^ \^ was vested in the aristocratic families who had been 
it^ chiefly instrumental in the abolition of royalty ; and 
r by division and the limitation of the period of office, 
Q-- it was made accessible to various candidates. The 
t;^ Senate, which had been increased by new members 
(conscript!), was considered as guardian of the 
Commonwealth and the laws. This assembly had 
the office of proposing and ratifying the laws deter- 
mined on, and the confirmation of the officers chosen 
by the popular assembly of the Centuria. 
The Senate decided questions of war and peace, and, as a 
Court of Supreme Jurisdiction, watched over religion, the ad- 
ministration of government and the law, and the regulation of 
the finances. Under its auspices, two Consuls, who were first 

called Prsetors, annually chosen by the Patricians, carried on the 




daily business of the government and the administration of justice, and in time 
of war were the leaders of the army ; while all the affairs connected with the 
State religion and worship were under the control of the Sacrificial King, in 
whose person the royal title was continued, " that the gods might not miss 
their accustomed mediator ; " but, on account of the enactment which pre- 
vented him from filling any other office, this high functionary was neverthe- 
less the least powerful of all the Roman officials. 

Besides the Consuls, after whom the year was designated in the calendar 


and who " prayed and offered sacrifice for the community, and in the name of 
the people penetrated the will of the gods by the aid of competent men," 
there were also Quaestors for the control of the public treasure, under the 
supervision of the Senate. At first there were two of these officers ; but their 
number was gradually increased to meet the requirements of the enlarged 
State. They were nominated by the Consuls, and, like the latter, retired after 
the expiration of a year. All these offices could be held by none but 
Patricians. In their Curiae they discussed the measures necessary for the 
maintenance of their authority and class rights ; in the general Centuria- 
comitiae, where the Consuls were chosen, they, as the richer part of the com- 



munity, were, according to the Servian Constitution, generally able to com- 
mand a majority ; and thus they held the popular resolutions in their hand, 
and they deprived the tribal assemblies of the Plebeians of all power and 
public influence. The popular assembly possessed, however, the important 
right of annually appointing the highest officers of the Commonwealth, and of 
deciding on the life and death of the citizen on a last appeal, by the right 
known as provocatio, by which means the balance of power came to be 
vested in them. 


The Struggles of the Republic. — King Porsenna. 

THE new Commonwealth had to wage great 
conflicts within and without. Under the 
first Consuls, Brutus and CoUatinus, a number of 
5'oung Roman patricians formed a conspiracy to 
bring back the expelled royal family. When this 
plot was discovered, the stern Brutus caused the 
guilty persons, among whom were two of his sons, 
to be beheaded with the axe. But the Roman 
people were so exasperated that they not only 
seized the pasture ground belonging to the Tar- 
quins between the town and the Tiber, and dedi- 



cated it to Mars as uncultivated ground (Campus Martius), to be used for 
military exercise, popular assemblies, and a field of combat — but they also 
banished for ever from the city every member of the Tarquinius family ; 
and even Tarquinius Collatinus, one of the chief founders of the republican 
Commonwealth, was obliged to obey this law and depart. 

The greatest danger from without threatened the Romans from the 
Etruscan king, Porsenna of Clusium, to whom Tarquinius had appealed for 
help, and who had taken possession of Janiculum on the right bank of the 
Tiber. The wars of the young Republic with this powerful enemy were subse- 
quently embellished by Roman historians with all kinds of heroic legends in 
glorification of the founding of the free State. On one occasion the Romans 
crossed the river to drive the Etruscans from Janiculum ; but they were 
repulsed and compelled to make a hasty retreat into the town. The enemy 
might easily have rushed into the city with them, had not Horatius Codes, a 
strong and valiant man, to whom was entrusted the guarding of the bridge, kept 
back the assailants with the help of two of his comrades, while, at his com- 
mand, the crowd pulled down the bridge behind them. Presently Horatius 
sent his two fellow-combatants back to the town, and stood alone, like Ajax, 
to resist the army, until the crash of the falling beams and the shouts of the 
men who had toiled at the destruction of the bridge announced that the work 
was finished. Then he prayed to Father Tiber for protection, that he would 
receive him and his weapons in his holy stream ; and, springing into the waves, 
he swam to the town amid a shower of missiles from the enemy. As a token 
of gratitude, every inhabitant contributed what he could spare from his own 
meal when a famine presently raged in the city, and afterwards the Republic 
set up a statue of Horatius in the Comitia, and presented him with as much 
Ir-nd as he could plough up in one day. 





The Story of Mucius Sc^vola. — Battle of Lake Regillus. 

MUCIUS CORDUS, called Scasvola, received a similar reward. When 
Rome was sufifering severely from famine during the siege, this heroic 
youth undertook, with the permission of the Senate, to deliver his country from 
the foe by the murder of the Etruscan king. He made his way into the camp ; 
and, being familiar with the Etruscan language, succeeded in penetrating to the 
inner space where the royal tent stood. But by mistake, he stabbed a richly 
dressed attendant instead of the king. When Porsenna, however, endeavoured 
to compel him to confession by threats, Mucius stretched forth his right hand 
and thrust it into the flame of a fire burning on an altar near him, as a proof 
that torture and death had no terrors for him. Thus he obtained the name 
of " Scaevola," or " Left-handed." 

But however vain-gloriously the Romans extolled the first struggles for 
liberty, we learn from later accounts that Porsenna actually took Rome and 
conquered the Romans ; that he thereupon disarmed them, and compelled 
them to purchase a peace by the surrender of hostages (who, however, under^ 
the leadership of the courageous Cloelia, are said to have soon escaped again; 
by a bold flight over the stream), and by the cession of a third of their 
territory, namely the district of ten tribes. — At the same time the ^quii 
and Volsci once more obtained possession of the towns they had formerly lost 
to the Roman kings ; the people of Veil took the field for the restoration of 
the Tarquins, and offered battle to the Romans in the wood Arsia ; on which; 
occasion Brutus, the founder of the new Republic, and Arnus Tarquinius killed 
each other in combat. But the Romans maintained the field ; and at last the; 
Latin confederacy of towns, established by the last king, took up arms for 
the protection of the State that had founded it. The Romans then created a 
new dignity, the Dictatorship, the advantage of which they soon experienced 
in 496, in the victory over the Latini at Lake Regillus, on the north side of 
the Latin mountains, on the way from Rome to Praeneste. Three years later, 
in 493, a treaty was concluded, in which equal rights were secured to both 
States. I 



Quarrels between Patricl\ns and Plebeians.— The Mons Sacer. 

DURING the struggles for liberty, the Plebeians had 
rendered the Patricians powerful assistance ; and, 
in consequence, they had obtained, through the Consul, 
Valerius Publicola, " friend of the people," some favourable 
laws, by which the right of appeal to the national assembly 
was more safely secured, and the abuse of official power 
in a tyrannical manner was prevented. Scarcely, however, 
were the Patricians relieved, by the death of Tarquin at 
Cumee in 495, from the fear of a return of the royal family, 
than they disregarded these regulations, oppressed the peo- 
ple, and made tyrannical use of their rights and privileges. 
Among these privileges may be especially reckoned the 
severe laws concerning debt. The Plebeians, as free land- 
owners, though without civil rights, were obliged to render 
payment of land-tax, to give military service without pay, and to furnish arms 
and equipment. 

While they were away serving in the ranks, their land at home, which had 
been lessened by the surrender of a part of it to Porsenna, was badly cul- 
tivated ; unfortunate harvests, the devastations of war, and armed incursions 
of the neighbouring hostile tribes, combined to impoverish them ; and in order 
to provide for the necessity of the moment, they made themselves the debtors 
of the Patricians. If the Plebeian could not punctually pay the high interest, 
which was generally reckoned at a twelfth of the capital, or 8 J per cent, he and 
his wife and children became the absolute property of the creditor, and could be 
sold into a strange country or kept by the owners as slaves. Terrible was the 
"living grave" that, by the inexorable popular law, yawned for the poor man 
iin the shape of the debtors' prison, into which every man of property might 
cast him. 

But not less hard was the lot of the man whom the creditor allowed to 
dwell on the mortgaged land, when the debtor had to bear the burdens on the 
property and to cultivate the field, while the latter seized the harvest as part 
(payment of the debt. The Patricians, — who were in sole possession of the 
common land, for the, usufruct of which they paid neither ground-rent nor 
^axes, having their own property cultivated by clients, tenants, or slaves, who 
were not admitted to the honour of armed warlike service, — kept for themselves 
the booty taken in war as well as every other kind of gain, and remained free 
from most of the ills which caused the impoverishment of the Plebeians ; 
while profitable maritime trade in the products of the country brought large 
sums of money into their hands. The historical accounts relate, that when this 
tate of affairs became too oppressive, and no law protected the unfortunate 
debtor from the hard creditor, about 18,000 armed Plebeians, who were sum- 
moned to join the army in the year 494, refused obedience, took possession ot 
the Mons Sacer, or holy mountain, on the bank of the Anio not far from the 
ity, with the intention of founding a new town, and only returned when the 
deputy Menenius Agrippa, by relating to them the fable of the belly and the 
members, convinced them of the disadvantage that would result from such a 
^[uarrel, and promised them redress of their grievances. They obtained the 
election of Tribunes of the people, or protectors, who, independent of the 
:onsular power, and as privileged and inviolable representatives of their fellow 
citizens, could by their veto reverse all decisions of the Senate and all decrees 



of the Consuls which they considered injurious to the Plebeians ; and if this did 
not avail, they could prevent the payment of taxes and keep the citizens from 
serving in the army when summoned. Only Plebeians, chosen in the assembly 
of the tribes, were competent to hold the Tribune's office. Their number, 
originally five, was subsequently doubled. Two assistants, the .^diles, who 
exercised control in the market-places, and maintained the supervision of 
public buildings, festive games, warehouses, etc., were empowered to prevent 
usury and excessive taxation, and to provide for the maintenance of order and 
of the internal peace of the city. There was something powerful and elevat- 
ing in this revolution, accomplished without settled guidance, under leaders 
accidentally obtained, commenced by the people themselves, and brought to a 
close without the shedding of blood, which the Plebeians remembered with 
pride and satisfaction. 

Though it is not to be denied that an office whose holders were not only 
irresponsible but also personally inviolable, and which invested its possessors 
with the right of stopping with the one word, " veto," the whole political and 
Judicial business of the State, and preventing the holding of the popular 
assemblies and the meetings of the Senate, was a dangerous power, which 
might easily be abused by ambitious men and disturbers of the peace ; it must 
also be recognised, on the other hand, that it was the institution of Tribunes 
which chiefly contributed to secure to the Roman Constitution a constant and 
legitimate development, and to the Republican form of government its long 
and undisturbed duration. The Tribunes were the mouth-pieces of a constitu- 
tional Opposition, whose vocation it was to press for the abolition of abuses 
and the reform of existing affairs ; thus they constantly maintained the State 
in the road of progress, and preserved it from stagnation and weakness. By 
the law of Publilius Volero, in the year 472, the choice of the Tribunes was 
exclusively given to the Comitia Tributa. 

Various causes combined to bring about the emigration to the Mons Sacer, 
or holy mountain. During the consulship of Appius Claudius, who, with his 
whole clan, was universally hated for his pride and arrogance, and his enmity 
to the people, the long-smouldering spirit of rebellion burst into a flame. An 
old man who had escaped from the debtors' prison appeared in dirty rags, pale 
and famished, and, with dishevelled hair and beard, appealed with frantic cries 
to the Quirites for assistance. He showed the spectators the bloody marks 
of inhuman ill-treatment, and related that whilst he was engaged in fighting 
for his country, after he had already been in eight-and-tvventy battles, his house 
and farm had been plundered and burnt, and the famine of the Etruscan 
period had compelled him to sell everything. He had been obliged to borrow, 
and his debt had been increased to a large extent by usury ; his creditor had 
then caused him and his two sons to be adjudged to him as slaves, and had 
loaded them with chains. Many recognised in his disfigured countenance 
the features of a brave captain ; and compassion and indignation caused a 
tumult to spread through the whole city. There happened to be a war going 
on against the Volsci, and the people refused to obey the summons to arms. 
The Second Consul, P. Servilius, then proclaimed to the people that " Whoever 
was kept as a slave on account of debt, might present himself without hesita- 
tion for service, and that the children of soldiers should not be disturbed in 
their freedom and in the possession of their paternal property." On the 
declaration of this promise, all the persons bound to serve took the oath 
to the banner, and the Consul obtained a brilliant victory. When, however, 
Appius Claudius sent back the bondsmen for debt on their return home from 




the field to their prisons, and pitilessly handed over to their creditors' custody- 
all who had become liable to serfdom, the Plebeians, enraged at the treachery, 
broke into open insurrection and resisted the accomplishment of the order. 
After a time, however, the popular Marcus Valerius, whom the Patricians in 
their consternation and difficulty had appointed Dictator, succeeded in quiet- 
ing the Plebeians ; and when the Volsci again invaded the country, he con- 
trived, under a renewal of the earlier promise, to lead them once more to 
a victory in the battle-field. The promised liberation of the debtors was, 
however, again denied by the Senate. Valerius then resigned his office in 
disgust and anger ; thereupon the Plebeians, who were still drawn up in order 
of battle outside the city, refused obedience to the Consul, and with their 
Plebeian military tribunes occupied the " holy mountain," a short distance from 
Rome, in the Crustumerian region on the Anio. with the intention of establish- 
ing new settlements there. 



HE Story of Coriolanus. — Struggle for Equality of Rights.— 
The Story of Cincinnatus. — Land Laws. — The DecexMvirl — 
Their Tyranny and Misgovernment. — The Story of Appius 
Claudius and Virginia.— Military Tribunes and Censors.— 
The Canuleian Law. — The Long Siege of Veil— The Gauls 
in Italy. — The Taking of Rome. — Story of Brennus and 
Camillus.— Description of the Gauls. 


THE old traditional history relates, that soon after- 
wards a famine broke out in Rome ; and when 
at last some ships arrived with corn from Sicily, the 
haughty Patrician Marcius Coriolanus, enraged at the 
refusal of the Centurise to give him the consulship, 
proposed that no distribution should be made to the 
Plebeians from the store-houses of the State, until they 
consented to the abolition of the office of Tribunes of 
the people. Then the Plebeians, who had sworn for 
themselves and their children to defend the Tribunes, 
and declared every one an outlaw and his life forfeit to 
the gods who offered resistance to their representatives, 
proscribed Coriolanus in their tribe assembly, which, 
since the treaty of peace on the Mons Sacer, had taken 
part in State matters, and compelled him to fly from 
the city. Thirsting for revenge, he betook himself to 
the Volsci, and persuaded them, in 491, to make under 
his leadership an invasion into the Roman territory. 
They had already carried ruin and devastation to 
369 B B 



within the fifth mile-stone from Rome, when the mother arid wife of the 
general succeeded by their united prayers in moving his conscience and in- 
ducing him to retire. The Volsci are said thereupon to have slain him in 
their anger ; they, however, retained the conquered towns. M 

The Struggle of the Plebeians with the Patricians for ^, 

Equality of Rights. f 

Through the dissensions of the classes, Rome became so weakened, that her 
external enemies conquered one open town after another, and diminished the 
Roman territory. From the north the people of Veii continued to press 
boldly forward ; and when at last the three hundred Fabii sallied forth to 
meet them, every member of that high-spirited Patrician family died a hero's 
death. As severe and proud champions of their honourable privileges, they 
had at an earlier period been at enmity with the Plebeians, but had after- 
wards turned to the people, and had consequently drawn on themselves the 
hatred of the men of their own class. They were accused of having wantonly 
provoked the war with the people of Veii. Thereupon they made application 
to the Senate that they might be allowed to fight out the quarrel against Veii 
as a family feud on their own account, without further assistance ; and when 
their petition was joyfully granted, they marched forth into the enemy's 
territory amid the congratulations of the people. From a strong position they ; 
inflicted great injury on the men of Veii, and returned from many a combat, 
victorious and laden with booty, until at last, led away by the desire to capture 1 
a herd of cattle that had been driven out designedly by their opponents into an 
open space, they fell into an ambuscade, were surrounded by the enemy, and I 
after the most heroic defence on an eminence near the little river Cremera, i 
were all slain in 477. One only of the whole clan survived the disaster, and! 
in him the race of Fabii was continued. From the south, the Volsci and: 
.^qui made devastating incursions, and though vanquished for a time by L. | 
Quinctius Cincinnatus, who was summoned from the plough to the dictator- j 
ship, and after vanquishing the foes at Mount .^gidus in 458, compelled themj 
to pass under the yoke formed of three spears. ' 

The Plebeians, whose strong arms had to win the battles, had little desire, 
to shed their blood in order to make their oppressors more powerful and; 
wealthy, and on some occasions they voluntarily allowed themselves to be' 
beaten when a hard Patrician was their leader. On the other hand, they 
carried on hot conflicts in the town to win from the privileged Patricians' 
a share in the possession of the common lands, the administration of justice,! 
and the higher offices of the State. Since, by the Publilian laws, the: 
privilege had been given to the tribe assemblies not only of choosing the 
popular Tribunes, but also the other Plebeian magistrates, independently and 
without the participation of the Patricians, the Plebeian community had 
obtained a secure, lawful position in the organization of the State. 







The Story of Cincinnatus. 

HE ancient heroic legend of the battle of the .^qui 
and of the honest patriot Cincinnatus is given in the 
following manner, according to Niebuhr's narrative : 
" The ^qui had concluded a peace ; nevertheless 
Gracchus Cloelius led them again to the Algidus, and 
they renewed their annual depredations. A Roman 
embassy came to the camp to complain of this in- 
iquity. The ambassadors were contemptuously re- 
ceived, and the yEquian Imperator forbade them to 
weary him with their troubles, declaring that they 
might relate their grievances to the oak, under whose 
broad shadow his tribunal was erected. The mes- 
sengers received the insulting answer as an omen. 
Into the ears of the spirit which was believed to 
animate Jupiter's sacred tree, they poured their tale of the injustice of the 
proud ruler, and the lamentations of the oppressed. 

But vengeance was delayed ; Minucius was defeated and surrounded ; five 
horsemen, — who escaped before the lines, with which the ^qui encircled the 
Roman camp, were closed, — carried the intelligence to Rome. The Patres 
immediately appointed Q. Cincinnatus dictator. A sergeant brought him 
the announcement to the Vaticanian field, where he cultivated a juga of 
land with four yoke of oxen. It was summer time, and he who had been 
raised by his people to royal power, was driving his plough, dressed only in 
the light garment the countrymen were accustomed to wear at their labour 
in the heat of summer. The messenger requested him to assume his civic 
arment before hearing the commands of the Senate and people ; whereupon 
Racilia, his wife, handed him his toga. A boat lay ready on the shore ; on 
the opposite bank he was received by his relatives and friends and three 
of his sons. 

On the following morning, before break of day, the Dictator was at the 
Forum. He appointed as his chief the warrior L. Tarquitius, who was as 
noble, manly, and poor as himself He caused all the booths to be closed, 
11 contracts to be suspended, and commanded that all who were capable of 
jearing arms should assemble with their weapons and furnished with pro- 
isions for five days. Each one was to carry twelve palisades, and all were 
:o muster at sunset in the field outside the city. While those who were about 
:o march forth rested, after they had cut the stakes and had looked after 
:heir armour and weapons, those who remained behind were to prepare the 
neal for them. The command was obeyed. On the march the generals 
•eminded the legions that their countrymen had been surrounded for three 
Jays ; and of their own accord the standard-bearers and foot-soldiers pushed 
m at double speed. By midnight they had reached the Algidus and were 
lear the enemy's camp, which enclosed the Roman camp in its midst. The 
Dictator drew up his troops in a circle round the ^qui, and then began 
o make trenches and throw up a rampart on which to fix the palisades they 
lad brought with them. As they advanced to their work they raised the 
loman war-cry, which announced to the Consul's people that the desired help 
lad arrived ; and they immediately set about attempting to fight their way 




The ^qui fought with them through the whole night until the first dawn 
of daylight ; then they beheld the encircling trench completed and insur- 
mountable ; and Cincinnatus now led forward his cohorts against the camp, 
the inner circle of which was stormed by Minucius. Entirely discouraged, 
the enemy implored that they might not all be exterminated ; the Dictator 
commanded that Gracchus Cloelius and his chiefs should be delivered up in | 
chains ; he spared the lives of the common soldiers, and the town of Corbio, 
with all that was in it, was the price of his forbearance. They had to lay 
down their weapons before the conqueror ; and according to custom an open- 
ing was made in the enclosure that hemmed them in ; two spears were planted 
upright in it, and a third laid transversely across ; and under this "yoke " they 
passed. The camp, with horses and beasts of burden, all the baggage, and 
the whole property of the men, except the tunic that each one wore, became | 
the spoil of the victors. Minucius and his followers were permitted no share ; 
either in the booty or the triumph ; they did not murmur at this, but on the 
contrary greeted the Dictator, when he returned to Rome, as a benefactor, and 
awarded him a wreath of gold a pound in weight 


The Roman State was in possession of great tracts of arable and pasture 
land, which were not portioned out as private property, but consisted of 
undivided public estate (ager publicus), the usufruct of which the Patricians, 




however, claimed exclusively as a privilege of their own class. They had 
therefore, to pay a portion of the produce by way of rent to the State for this 
land, namely, one-tenth of the crop for the sown fields, one-fifth for the vine- 
ii yards and orchards, and a payment for the keeping of the cattle driven on 
the common pasture. The taking possession was accomplished without the 
co-operation of the State or judicial officers, but by mere "occupation;" in 
which, however, a certain customary regulation or agreement, established by 
precedent, had to be regarded. Against disturbance or injury by any other 
person, the possession was protected by the magistracy by means of a "pos- 
sessorial interdict ; " so that the piece of occupied land was almost the same as 
a freehold, and could be sold and bequeathed. Yet the State always remained 
the lawful proprietor. This common land the Patricians now regarded entirely 
as their property, especially when the occupied land had already been in the 
same family for several generations. They caused it to be cultivated by their 
clients or slaves ; and mutually connived at each others' shortcomings if the 
stipulated taxes or the pasture money was not duly paid. The burden of 
taxes was thus increased for the common people ; and as, through the selfish- 


ness of the nobles, the original customary apportioning of land from the 
newly-acquired State property to needy Plebeians was discontinued, the lot 
of the landowner of middle or lower rank was hard. From time to time 
the Plebeians who possessed only small freeholds demanded land laws [leges 
agrarias), by which a share of the common land should be given over to them 
as their property or for usufruct. But so often as this request was made, it 
met with the most decided opposition. The execution of the Consul Spurius 
Cassius (486), who proposed and carried the first land law, which decreed that 
a tract of land taken from the Hernici should be partly given to the Patricians 
in hereditary tenure, partly to the Plebeians as property, was a warning example, 
deterring men from all similar attempts. After the expiration of his year of 
consulship, this meritorious and illustrious man, who had three times filled the 
highest office in the State and had celebrated two triumphs, was accused of 
high treason by his angry fellow Patricians, and was hurled, amid curses and 
revilings, over the Tarpeian rock of the Capitol. The spot where the bold 
man's house stood, remained a deserted place ; and when, a few years later, 
in 473, a popular Tribune, Genutius, threatened the Consuls with a suit on 
account of an imperfect execution of the law, he was found murdered in his 
house before the day of the trial. 

The Decemviri (451-450 b.c). 

So long as the administration of the law depended on the unwritten law of 
usage, and of customary form and practice, it was exclusively in the hands 
of the Patricians, who kept it among themselves as a kind of secret science 
belonging to their class, and frequently administered it according to their own 
caprice, with tyranny and partiality. That they might no longer be exposed 
to this tyranny, and with the view of obtaining insight into the working of 
law, the people demanded by their Tribune, Terentius Arsa, in the year 462, 
a common land law for all classes, and fixed written laws ; but met with long 
and violent opposition from the Patricians, who perceived in this demand a 
diminution of their class rights. The disunion and party hatred of the two 
classes reached the highest point in this conflict. The Roman people sepa- 
rated into two hostile camps ; .a lamentable condition of things, which, — 
combined with a pestilence that about the same time reaped a terrible harvest 
of death among all classes, — so weakened the State, that the ^qui and Volsci 
made incursions unhindered to the very walls of the city ; and a Sabine 
adventurer, Herdonius, with a band of slaves and fugitives, seized the Capitol, 
and was not driven out without great difficulty. When, however, the Tribunes 
of the people, whose number had been increased to ten since the year 457, 
continued pertinaceously to bring forward the proposal for the drawing up of 
a land law, and when they opposed the levying of the taxes and the summons 
to serve in the army, and strove for their one aim with their united powers, 
the Plebeians at last gained an important concession ; for ambassadors were 
despatched to Greece and Athens, with orders to investigate the code of laws 
in use there, and to select and take note of whatever they found in it suitable 
to the Roman conditions of life. After the return of these envoys, the two 
classes agreed that all officers, such as Consuls, Tribunes, and the rest, should 
give up their posts, and that ten Patricians, invested with unlimited power, 
legislative, judicial, and executive, should be entrusted with the task of drawing 
up new laws for political and civil government. 

The new officers, — called, from the number of members, the Decemviri, or 




committee often men, — at first fulfilled their appointed duty in an exemplary 
manner ; and their laws, accepted by the popular assembly and ratified by the , 
Senate, met with such approval at the end of the first year, that they were! 
allowed without hesitation to remain a second year in office for the entire] 
completion of the work. But the ten Patricians now abused their unlimited 
power by committing acts of tyranny and violence. They ruthlessly inflicted 
such punishments as imprisonment, fines, banishment, and death by the axe, 
upon their opponents who belonged to the Plebeian class. When a war broke 
out with the ^qui and Volsci, they put to death by an ambuscade the bravest 
man in Rome, Siccius Dentatus, a grey-headed Plebeian hero, covered with 
wounds. And after the expiration of their second year, when the drawing up 
of the laws of the Twelve Tables had been completed, they continued to exercise 
their office on their own authority. At last the detestable crime of the aristo- 
cratic Appius Claudius, one of the most influential of the Decemviri, caused a 
violent outbreak of the general discontent. This man conceived a passion 
for the beautiful Virginia, the daughter of a Plebeian leader, and betrothed to 
the former Tribune of the people, Lucius Icilius. In order to gain possession 
of her, he persuaded one of his clients to declare that the maiden was a slave 
belonging to him, who had escaped, and to demand before the court of justice 
of the Decemviri that she should be given up to him. In the presence of a 
large concourse of people, Appius Claudius heard the application in the Forumi 
Scarcely, however, had he by his verdict adjudged Virginia to the plaintiff, 
when her father hastened to the spot and plunged a knife into her heart, to 
save her from dishonour. Horrified at this fearful and unexampled deed, 
the people still stood gazing on the lifeless body of the beautiful maiden, 
when the Plebeian army under the Tribunes entered the city. The soldiers 
encamped on the Aventinus, and with threats, demanded the deposition 
of the Decemviri and the re-establishment of the old constitution. 





The Senate and the council of the Decemviri hesitated to comply with the 
request. The chief Tribune, M. Duilius, advised that the Plebeians should 
proceed, for the second time, to the holy mountain, as their fathers had 
done ; and that there, where at a former period the foundation of their liberties 
had been laid, they should establish their camp. This counsel met with 
approval. Immediately all the warriors moved forward and marched in a 
body through the town and out at the Collinian gate ; men and women, old 
and young, joining the procession as it wended onwards. This show of de- 
termination broke the stubborn spirit of the Patricians ; the Decemviri were 
compelled to abdicate their functions. Appius Claudius, threatened by the 
people and Tribunes with a judicial prosecution, killed himself in prison ; his 
colleague, Oppius, was executed ; the rest were punished for their crimes by 
perpetual exile and the confiscation of their property. Nevertheless the 
laws of the Twelve Tables remained in operation, and were the first successful 
attempt to unite the different popular elements into a complete political 
I commonwealth resting on a basis of written law. 

Military Tribunes, and Censors. 

The Plebeians had thus been brought nearer to the Patricians in political 
position. The inequality between the two classes was further lessened in 


an important degree by the concession soon afterwards obtained through the 
Canuleian law, which declared that the two classes. Patricians and Plebeians, 
might lawfully intermarry, without loss of privileges for the children. This 
concession of the conmibimn was made in 445. 

At last the bold Plebeians attacked the principal prerogative of the 
Patricians, the limitation of the consulship to their own class. This demand 
the Patricians resisted with all their strength ; and when at last the angry 
Plebeians strove to prevent the recruiting for military service, they declared 
that they would rather have no more Consuls at all, than agree to the admis- 
sion of the Plebeians to that dignity. Then it was agreed, as a compromise, 
in the year 443, that from each of the two classes, three or four military 
Tribunes with consular power should be chosen annually, as commanders in 
the army and chief officers. This arrangement lasted, with a few inter- 
missions, until the time of the Licinian Rogations. As compensation for 
what they lost, the Patricians obtained the office of Censors, which could be 
held only by them. The Censors, two in number, first chosen for a lustrum, 
a period of five years, and afterwards for eighteen months, had the manage- 
ment of the register, in which all the Patricians and Plebeians were inscribed, 
according to property and position. They drew up the lists of the senators and 
knights ; raised the taxes to be paid to the treasury by those to whom the 
public land was farmed ; superintended the building of temples, streets, and 
bridges ; and maintained a general supervision over the morals of the 
community, being impowered to punish social delinquencies, and offences 
against order and the public weal, by the withdrawal of political class rights. 
It is not to be wondered at, that with such an extension of its sphere of 
activity, the censorship came in time to be regarded as the most important 
and distinguished of all offices ; and in the year 265 the law was passed that 
prohibited any one from filling it for the second time. 

The existence of the three or four military Tribunes proves that no com- 
plete equality yet prevailed ; but that the Patricians in this particular also 
usually had the superiority, and by all kinds of intrigues, — especially by the 
setting up of unfavourable auspices and omens, — knew how to prevent the 
choosing of Plebeian magistrates. This view is also confirmed by the fact 
that the sequence of military Tribunes was often interrupted for years by 
the Consuls when the Patricians had the upper hand. Various schemes or 
attempts of the Plebeians to put an end to this condition of incompletness, 
the Patricians were able to baffle by treachery or violence. When the rich 
Plebeian knight, Sp. Maelius, obtained, by the equitable sale or gratuitous 
distribution of corn among the people, so great a following, that there was a 
chance the supremacy of the Patricians would suffer thereby, the latter 
accused him of striving after tyrannical power ; and Cincinnatus, now aged 
eighty years old, who had been appointed Dictator, caused him to be struck 
down in the streets of Rome in the year 439 by the chief of his knights, 
Servilius Ahala. His house was razed to the ground, the corn from his 
granaries was distributed gratis among the people, and those who threatened 
to revenge his death were secretly put out of the way. And this judicial 
murder passed unpunished. Nevertheless the Plebeians obtained access about 
this time to the office of the Quaestors, who were associated with the Censors 
in the supervision of the public property and regulated the financial statement 
or budget of the year. 










The taking of Rome by the Gauls (390, 389). 

WHILE these internal 
conflicts were going on, 
in which the courageous spirit 
and the love of Hberty of the 
Plebeians were conspicuously 
prominent, the Roman armies 
were fighting victoriously 
against their enemies. In 
league with the Latini and 
Hernici, they repeatedly de- 
feated the Volsci and yEqui, 
and limited the territory of 
their enemies by the estab- 
lishment of colonies. By 
means of the regulation, that 
during the war the citizens 
should receive pay, the armies 
could now remain longer in a 
campaign, so that they some- 
times were quartered through 
the winter in huts in the field. 
After they had, in the )^ear 
426, conquered the strong 
town of Fidense, — which, re- 
lying on the Veientian king 
- Tolumnius, had fallen away 
from Rome and had murdered four Roman ambassadors, — they confiscated 
the domain as the property of the State, and then turned their whole power 
against the neighbouring Etruria. After a ten years' siege, under the leader- 
ship of Furius Camillus, they captured the hostile town of Veil in 396, by 
means of a subterranean passage, and either slew the inhabitants or carried 
them off into slavery. The custom, handed down to a recent period, of con- 
cluding the Roman games with the " Veian sale," in which an old cripple, 
decked out in a purple mantle and gold ornaments, was put up to auction 
in the character of the Veian king, was a reminiscence of the universal 
rejoicing which the great triumph excited in Rome. From that time the 
power of Etruria was broken. The proud general, — who, by the splendour of 
his ostentatious triumphal procession into the city, by the unequal division 
of the booty, and by his opposition to the proposal to distribute the territory 
of Veil in equal lots among all the citizens, had brought on himself the hatred, 
of the Plebeians, — went into voluntary banishment when summoned by thC; 
Tribunes of the people to make his justification ; and thus the State was 
deprived of his assistance in the hour of its greatest need. 

For it was at this time that the Gauls, who had been settled for a century and 
a half in the territory of the Po, after having destroyed the old Etruscan town 
of Melpun, crossed over the Apennines and laid siege to the town of Clusium 
in the year 396. The inhabitants sought help from the Romans, who, however, 
only despatched an embassy consisting of three of the Fabian race to the 
enemy's camp, with the demand that they should abstain from molesting a 1 
people whom the Romans protected. 






The Gauls replied that they were ready to make peace if the inhabitants 
3f Clusium would cede to them a portion of their territory. This answer the 
nessengers considered as an expression of contempt ; and, eager to revenge 
ihemselves, they joined in a sally made by the besieged ; and one of them, 
L. Fabius, slew a Gallic chief. This violation of the right of nations excited 
he furious wrath of the Gauls. They desisted from the war against Clusium, 
Proceeded in forced marches towards Rome, without devastating the inter- 
nediate country, and inflicted such a complete defeat on the Roman army on 
he little river Allia, that only a few fugitives escaped over the Tiber to Veii ; 
md even Rome, from which the women and children had fled, fell without 
'lefence into the hands of the enemy. This was in the year 390. 

The Gauls set fire to the deserted city, murdered in the Forum nearly eighty 
)ld men, who chose to die as a propitiatory sacrifice, and then besieged the 
Japitol, to which stronghold the soldiers had withdrawn with the treasures 
md valuables. But the garrison, under the command of the heroic Marcus 
^lanlius, offered a brave resistance ; and the ranks of the Gauls were thinned 



by hunger and disease. Accordingly, after a seven months' siege, a treaty was 
arranged, in which the Gauls promised to withdraw from the city in consider- 
ation of a sum of a thousand pounds in gold. It is well known how the savage 
leader Brennus (king of the army) increased the stipulated sum by adding to 
it the weight of his sword, which he threw into the scales when the gold was 
weighed out. 

The story that tells how the banished Camillus, with a troop of fugitive 
Romans, pursued the retiring enemy and dispossessed him of his booty, is 
discredited, and attributed, not without reason, to Roman boastfulness. The 
day of the battle on the Allia, the i8th of July, was marked in the Roman 
calendar as a day of mourning and penance. According to popular belief, it 
was the same day on which the three hundred Fabii had in the old times fallen 
on the Cremera. " The terrible catastrophe of the defeat and of the burning 
of the city, the story of the i8th of July and of the river Allia, the place where 
the holy things had been buried, and the legend of the attempted surprise of 
the citadel, which was frustrated through the alarm given by the sacred geese 
— all the details of these extraordinary events were compounded at a later 


The Celts and Gauls. 

period from the recollection of contemporaries, embellished by the imagination • 
of their successors." 

The Gauls, who had established themselves on both banks of the Po, — who 
were subsequently called the "Gauls in the toga," — were branches of the great 
Celtic nation, which, divided into many branches, inhabited the whole of '■ 
Western Europe, the Pyrenean Peninsula, the large territories of the Gauls, 
the Belgae, the Helvetii, and the British Isles; and on the middle Danube had 
extended its possessions as far as the Hsemus; and the most distant branches 
of which race, advancing over the Thracian Bosphorus, had extended their 
dwelling-places to remote Asia Minor, introducing their national forms of life 
and retaining their national name under the form of " Galatians." The Celts 
loved a roving life ; they lacked that " attachment to their native soil " which 
was the characteristic of the Italians and Germans. "The Celtic nation," says ' 
Mommsen, " has received from the common mother a different endowment 



from that given to the Italian, German, and Hellenic races. With some solid, 
and with many brilliant qualities, it is wanting in the deep moral and social 
disposition on which everything good and great in human development depends. 
Cicero tells us that it was regarded as disgraceful for free Celts to cultivate the 
soil with their own hands." The free peasant class, which appears to have 
been numerous in the old days, diminished more and more in the course of 
time, until at last only the lords and praedial serfs remained ; so that the knights 
composed the nation, and the people lived in the most humiliating condition 
of dependence ; even the royal dignity was obliged to give way to the un- 
disciplined supremacy of the nobility. The Celts were especially wanting in 
the capacity for living under laws; they could not subordinate their individual 
inclinations to the good of the v/hole community, or establish with a unanimous 
feeling of citizenship a strong government and a firm rule, or strive with a 
steadfast intention after a higher aim. Niebuhr remarks, that, as each individual 
among them was obliged to obtain the protection of a magnate in order to live 
in safety, weaker nations attached themselves as clients to a more powerful 
one ; for they were a disjointed community, unable to stand alone, and yet 
restlessly prone to change their masters. The only discipline to which they 
would submit, was that of military service ; and accordingly war and martial 
exercises continued to be their chief occupation. They were ready at all times 
to march to battle, sometimes as mercenaries and partisans under a foreign 
banner, sometimes in the retinue of brave leaders and chieftains in freebooting 
and pillaging expeditions. For their courage and the wild spirit of warfare 
that animated them, they were known and feared throughout the whole 
heathen world ; but their restless energy was without perseverance, and their 
dissensions and repudiation of all discipline and order prevented them from 
founding anything that would endure. Thus may be explained the assertion 
that "The Celts have shaken all States, and founded none;" that neither a 
permanent kingdom nor a special civilization has been produced by them. 

The description which the ancients give of the Gauls, accounts for the horror 
their aspect excited in the nations among whom they appeared. Bulky of 
stature, with savage features, long, shaggy hair, and with a great moustache, 
they were fierce and terrible to behold ; their wild courage, their enormous num- 
bers, the noise of their innumerable horns and trumpets, paralyzed the armies 
they encountered with fear and stupefaction. If, however, their foes did not 
allow terror to overpower them, the want of order, obedience, and perseverance 
among the Gauls frequently gave the victory to a smaller number over the 
swarms of these barbarians. Their equipments also were bad, and they had 
seldom armour; their narrow shields, as high as a man, were weak and clumsy; 
they threw themselves on the enemy with broad, thin, badly-tempered battle- 
swords, which often became notched and useless at the first blow on an iron 
surface. Vain and boastful, they adorned their bodies and their weapons with 

In the battle every distinguished Gaul wore gold chains on his arms and 
heavy gold rings round his neck, though the upper part of his body was often 

I naked ; for they often threw off their variegated mantles, square patterned and 
of rainbow tints. Generally they fought on foot. A few troops, however, were 
mounted on horseback, each freeman being followed by two shield-bearers 
likewise mounted ; in ancient times they had also war-chariots, driven by 
bondmen, who protected the nobleman during the combat. Many traits of 
their manners and customs remind us of the chivalry of the middle ages, 
such as the custom of trial by battle, which was not practised among the 



Greeks and Romans, and the wild carousals over foaming horns of beer or 
mead. Not only in war did they use to challenge some separate enemy to 
battle, after first deriding him with words and gestures, but in times of peace 
also they encountered each other in shining armour in mortal combat. Often 
they would purposely widen wounds received in battle, that they might have 
greater scars to exhibit boastfully. In the countries they conquered they 


destroyed the population, the towns, and the cultivated fields ; they fastened 
the decapitated heads of the slain to the manes of their horses by the hair ; 
they preserved the skulls of the slain nobles, which were nailed up in their 
houses as heirlooms for their descendants. Such were the enemy who were 
besieging the walls of Clusium. 




The Rogations of Licixius Stolo, b.c. 366. 

A FTER the withdrawal of the enemy, the Roman people 
J~\ were so discouraged, that their design was, not to 
rebuild the city, but to settle in the empty town of Veii. 
It was not without difficulty that the Patricians succeeded 
in frustrating this design ; and to render a similar proposal 
impossible for the future, the houses in Veii were given up 
to the people to be pulled down, and the site was con- 
demned to eternal desolation. 

Scarcely was Rome hastily rebuilt, with narrow, crooked 
streets and small dwelling-houses, when the Patricians 
claimed all their old privileges anew, and especially re- 
introduced the laws for debt in all their old severity. Thus 
the Plebeians, — who had been impoverished by the Gallic 
war, and whose resources had been further exhausted by 
the building up of their dwellings and the purchase of 
draught-oxen, implements of husbandry, and seed-corn, 
and who were now hard pressed by the contributions 
exacted for raising the Gallic ransom and for the pay of 
the army, — were reduced to great straits. 

i\I. Manlius Capitolinus, the preserver of the Capitol, came forth as their 
champion, and to insist upon a reduction of their burden of debt. When a 
brave warrior was about to be led off to the debtor's prison, Manlius liberated 
him by paying the debt for him, and restored him to his family ; at the same 

c C 


time he put up his own piece of ground for sale ; and swore that so long as he ' 
possessed a foot of land, he would never permit a Roman to be delivered over 
into bondage for debt. This aroused the hatred of his own class against him to i 
such an extent, that they sentenced him to death on the false accusation that 
he was striving for tyrannical power ; and in the year 383 he was thrown f 
from the Tarpeian rock, his house was razed to the ground, and his memory | 
was declared dishonoured. ' 

But this cruel proceeding against this meritorious man, the friend of the ; 
people, roused the Plebeians from their apathy. Two courageous and talented 1 
tribunes of the people, Licinius Stolo and L. Sextius, came forward with 
three proposals, or " rogations," designed to settle all the points hitherto in 
dispute. These rogations were : — i. That Consuls should again be elected, j 
but that one of them should always be a Plebeian. 2. That no Roman citizen 
was to be permitted to possess of the common land, as hereditary tene- 
ment in pasture and arable land, more than 500 Jugera, nor to graze on the 
common pasture more than a hundred head of large and five hundred 
head of small cattle; the remainder of the common land should be handed 
over to the Plebeians as property by their own Triumviri, in small lots 
of seven Jugera. 3. That from the principal of debts owing, the interest 
already paid should be subtracted, and the rest be paid off in three annual 

These proposals were resisted by the Patricians with all their power for ten 
years ; but all their efforts, and even the elevation of the old Camillus to the 
dictatorship, were counteracted by the firmness and the steadfast discernment 
of the two tribunes, who would consent to no separation or diminution of the 
propositions. They urged the people, who would gladly have been content 
with the grants of land and the relief from debt, to insist on receiving the 
whole rogations ; and employed against their opponents every legal means, 
such as accusations, the hindering of the choice of officers, and the veto against 
the summons for service in the army. The Patricians had to submit to see the 
Licinian Rogations converted into laws, and to surrender their own privileges. 
The regulation concerning the common land, passed in 366, — that, in the 
complete change it introduced, may be compared with the abolition of slavery 
in America in modern times, — had for its object the formation, or at least the 
increasing, of an independent peasant-class, and a corresponding decrease of 
the territorial rights of the great land-owners. Of the old consular authority, 
however, the Patricians contrived to save an essential part for themselves. 
Like the former office of the Censors, the new dignity of a Prsetor, — who had 
to conduct the civil administration of the law and to nominate the judges, — 
was awarded to them as compensation for their loss of the sole possession 
of the consulship. But within thirty years afterwards, both these offices, as 
well as that of the Censors, the Curule y^diles, and all other posts, were made 
accessible to the Plebeians ; and by the laws of Publilius Philo, the decisions 
of the popular assembly were freed from the necessity of ratification by the 
Senate ; and in important affairs, such as government treaties and negotia- 
tions of peace the power of decision was placed by the Senate in the hands 
of the Centuria assembly. Only the ecclesiastical offices of the Pontifices 
and Augurs still remained for a time in the sole possession of the Patricians ; 
until the Plebeians, in the year 302, succeeded in breaking through this last 
barrier also, and obtaining the complete equality of the two classes. 

In the conflict and the final equality of the classes lay the principal cause 
of the greatness of Rome. The elements, at first so hostile to each other. 




jwere like two millstones of different hardness, which by their friction ground 
lout the Homeric grain in the characters of the Romans. By the Licinian- 
Sextian Code of laws, the higher and wider law of the interest of the State had 
obtained the victory over the lower and limited law of the family ; the interest 
of the living and moving element had gained the day over the torpid and 
immovable. Now commences the period of the virtue of the citizens and of 
heroic greatness, in which both classes vied with each other. The legend of 
the sacrificial death of the noble M. Curtius, — who in full armour, and mounted 
on a gaily caparisoned horse, leaped into a yawning gulf that had opened in 
the Forum, to appease the anger of the gods by the most precious gift a 
Roman could offer, — is a symbolical representation of the patriotic devotion, 
by means of which the gaping chasm in the Roman commonwealth was 
pern'ianently closed. 










HE First Samnite War, 342-340. — The Samnites in Capua.— 
Valerius Oorvus, and Decius Mus the Elder. — The Latin 
War, 340-338. — Battle near Mount Vesuvius. — Severity of 
Manlius Torquatus towards His Son. — Submission of the 
Various Races to the Romans. — Hernici, ^qui, Volsci, Etc., 
Subdued. — The Rostrum at Rome. — The Second and Third 
Samnite Wars. — The Caudine Forks. — Papirius Cursor and 
Fabius Maximus. — Victory of Papirius near Longula in 308. 
— Appius Claudius the Censor. — Death of the Samnite 
Leader, Pontius. — The War with Tarentum. — Pyrrhus, King 

OF Epirus : His Character ; His Heroic 
Undertakings; His Death. — Subjugation 
of tarentu^l — the condition of the 
Conquered Populations. — The Loftiest 
Period of the Roman Republic. — Rome 
the Mistress of Italy. 

The First War with tpie Samnites (342-340). 

THE results of the unity among the citizens, 
or " Concordia," — to which Camillas, shortly 
before his death, had dedicated a temple on a 
plain at the foot of the Capitol, in 364, as a 



memorial of reconciliation and of the settlement of the old quarrel,— 
showed themselves first of all in victorious battles with the invading bands 
of Gauls, beginning in 363. Within the next few years the first Plebeian 
Dictator was appointed, and the much-extolled heroic deeds of Manlius 
(Torquatus) and of M, Valerius (Corvinus) were accomplished. Soon the 
Romans were enabled, through the improvement of the army and weapons 
brought about by Camillus, and the renewal of the Latin Confederacy, to 
subjugate the whole of South Etruria with Caere and Taleria ; and then 
they entered upon a war with the powerful, liberty-loving mountain people, 
the Samnites. 

In former times some marauding Samnites had taken possession of the 
Etruscan colonial town of Capua, and of the Campania plains ; but in this 
" city of pleasure " they quickly degenerated, under the influences of Greek 
civilization and refined enjoyments of life, and were estranged from their 
fellow-kinsmen in the original Samnium, who preserved undiminished the 
rough manners and the rude bravery of their forefathers. When the Samnites 
of the mountain regions at last threatened Capua with war, the effeminate 
inhabitants could not withstand their attacks, and appealed for help to Rome. 
The Romans at first refused assistance against the Samnites, who were in ; 
alliance with them ; but when the Capuans placed themselves entirely ; 
under their protection, and recognised the Roman supremacy, they marched 
into the field and defeated the enemy with great bravery, under Valerius I 
Corvus, near Cumae on Mount Gaurus, in the year 342. A second army, | 
which, through the carelessness of the Consul, became entangled in a dangerous 
position, was saved by the bravery and martial skill of the elder Decius Mus;;! 
near Inessula, at the entrance of the pass of the Caudine Passes, or Forks, 
the Samnites suffered such losses from the united armed force of the consuls, 
that forty thousand of their shields were picked up on the battle-field. Soon 
afterwards the Romans found themselves threatened by their former allies, 
the Latini, which caused them to conclude a favourable peace and an alliance 
with the Samnites, that they might turn their arms against their nearer 
enemies. Fresh concessions were made to the Plebeians serving in the legions, 
on the acquisition of new lands in the enemy's territory; and thus the concord, 
or unity, of the citizens was further cemented. 





The War with the Latini (340-339). 

THE Latini refused any- 
longer to recognise Rome 
as the head of the confederacy. 
They put forward claims to per- 
fect equality, and endeavoured to 
bring about the blending of the 
Roman and Latin State into one 
commonwealth ; and demanded to 
be admitted to the Senate, the 
consulship, and all public offices. 
This brought about a bitter war 
in 340. By the victorious battle 
near Mount Vesuvius, — on which 
occasion the Plebeian Consul, 
Decius Mus, caused himself to 
be solemnly devoted to death by 
the priest as an atoning sacrifice, 
and then rushed on horseback 
into the thickest throng of the 
enemy, — this contest was decided 
in favour of the Romans. 

Before the battle, the Patrician 
Manlius Torquatus exercised the 
severity of Roman martial disci- 
pline towards his own brave son, 
who, contrary to the order of the camp, had attacked and defeated the enemy 
in a marauding expedition. With unpitying harshness, the stern Consul caused 
the sentence of death to be carried out by the lictor ; but the warriors did 
honour to the memory of the hero by a magnificent funeral celebration ; "and 
the youth of Rome were never reconciled to the hard-hearted man v/ho had 
proved himself pitiless to his own flesh and blood." After the second victory 
of Manlius, near Trifanum, the Latini were reduced to submission within 
three years ; and after the dissolution of their league, some of them w^ere 
transferred to the Roman territory, while others were established in the 
position of subjugated allies, with free towns or municipia. A similar fate 
soon afterwards befell the Hernici, y^qui, and Volsci, who all entered into the 
condition of allies of the Romans {socii), with different rights for particular 
towns. All were obliged to recognise the supremacy of the Roman people, 
to render military service, and to raise the necessary expense for the main- 
tenance of the troops by contribution. On the other hand, they were allowed 
to govern themselves as formerly. The prows or beaks {rostra) of the ships 
of war captured in the old Volscian piratical city of Antium, were taken to 
adorn the public pulpit in the Forum, which was from that time forward 
known as the Rostrum. Numerous lots of land, which were divided in the 
conquered territories among Roman citizens, and military colonies planted 
on well-chosen situations, secured the new conquests. So Rome aclvanced 
with unerring sagacity towards her aim of weaving an impenetrable net round 
the places that had been conquered by military force ; thus securing, by 
great, unswerving, and skilful statesmanship, the advantages won on the 



The Second and Third Samnite Wars, b.c. 327-290. 

THE success of the Romans aroused 
the jealousy of the Samnites. The 
seizure of NeapoHs, the Greek "old and 
new town," which had been united into 
one commonwealth, and which the Sam- 
nites and Tarentines had in vain en- 
deavoured to secure by garrison troops, 
together with the founding of a military 
colony in Tregellae on the boundary of 
the Samnites (an arrangement by which 
the Romans strengthened their acquired 
conquests and prepared the way for new 
ones), soon brought about a renewal of 
the war between the strife-loving na- 
tions, in which the Campanians, Lucan- 
ians, and the Greek States of southern 
Italy were also involved. The sove- 
reignty of Italy was the price of the 
victory, for which the two powerful races 
of the peninsula strove with each other. 
The advantages which the Romans obtained during the first years were 
nearly lost to the nation by the injudicious advance of the Consuls Veturius 
and Posthumus, in 321, into the passes called the Caudine Forks, which were 
surrounded by high and steep wooded hills ; when the forces, shut in on all 
sides, surrendered to the enemy's general Pontius, and after laying down their 
arms and giving hostages, were compelled to undergo the humiliation of passing 
under the yoke ; but the Roman Senate, with dishonourable double-dealing, 
declared the treaty concluded under compulsion with Pontius as invalid, and 
at their own request handed over in chains to the Samnites the guilty Consuls 
who, contrary to law and custom, had overstepped the limits of their authority. 
The Samnites however not only refused to receive the generals thus delivered 
up to them, but also generously spared the six hundred hostages, whose 
lives, according to the law of warfare, were forfeited ; and then set about 
preparing to renew the conflict. Filled with shame and vexation, Rome 
roused herself anew. The revolt of the Latin town of Satricum to the 
Samnites was a warning example to the Romans of what they might expect, 
if the misfortune that had befallen them at the Caudine Forks were not 
blotted out by new victories. Therefore the succeeding generals, especially 
Papirius, surnamed Cursor, the runner, a man alike noted for bodily and mental 
activity, and Fabius Maximus, strained every nerve to efface the dishonour 
and to restore the martial renown that had been disgraced. Satricum, 
conquered by treachery in 319, had to endure a heavy punishment ; Luceria 
was taken, the imprisoned hostages were set at liberty, and the garrison was 
compelled to pass under the yoke ; the towns of the Ausonians were pitilessly 
chastised. The enterprises of the generals were crowned with such success, 
that the Samnites, in spite of a second victory near Lautulae, were unable 
after some years to withstand alone the power of the Romans, and were 
compelled to look abroad for comfort and for aid. 

At first the Etruscans, alarmed at the continually increasing power of 
Rome, took up arms, and made war on the Roman colonial town of Sutrium ; 



but already in three years' time Fabius Maximus, after a bold expedition over 
the Cimmerian mountains, destroyed the best warriors of their nation by his 
\ ictories by the Vadimonian Lake and near Perusia, in the next year ; while 
Papirius, appointed Dictator by his own rival, the Consul Fabius, vanquished 
near Longula, in 308, the invading Samnites, who came marching to the battle 
decked in costly armour, clad in purple, and blazing with silver shields. 
Then the lesser tribes and nations of the Sabelli race united with the Samnites; 
but they also were partly subdued, partly induced to separate themselves 
from the rest by separate treaties, and placed by the Romans in the condition 
of allies and municipia. 

These repeated blows shattered the strength of the Samnites. After the 
decisive battle near Bovianum in 305, which resulted in the loss of that im- 
portant military centre, in which battle their general, Statins Gellius, was 
taken prisoner, they concluded a treaty in 304, in which, though they retained 
their independence, they were obliged to recognise the independence of the 
Lucanians, who until that time had been under their supremacy. This peace, 
however, only lasted six years, an interval of tranquillity of which the Romans 


availed themselves for the complete subjugation of the neighbouring popula- 
tions, the establishment of fortresses and military roads, and the completion 
of internal reforms. Appius Claudius, the blind Censor, not only immortalized 
his period of office by the laying out of the grand road which bears his name, 
the Via Appia, but also recruited the numbers of the citizens, which had become 
diminished in those times, by the expedient of admitting many freed men 
and strangers to the duties and rights of the Roman citizen ; distributing these 
new Romans among the tribes, and filling up the Senate by the introduction 
of fresh members. 
j Alarmed and apprehensive at the increasing strength of their adversary 
f and at their own isolated position, the Samnites endeavoured to regain 
possession of Lucania, which was torn by factions. But a portion of the 



inhabitants turned for help to the Romans, whose intervention brought about 
the third Samnite war, which broke out in 298. This contest, however, soon 
took a similar turn to that of the first and the second struggle. At last the 
warlike Samnites quitted their land, which had been fearfully devastated 
by the Roman generals, and advanced towards Umbria, in order to be nearer 
their new allies, the Umbrians, Gauls, and Etruscans. The defeat of L, 
Cornelius Scipio Barbatus aroused in Rome the old fear of the Gauls. But 
the battle of Sentinum in the year 295, — when the victory long wavered in the 
balance, until, by the self-sacrifice of the young Decius Mus, who emulated 
the fate of his father, it was made to declare itself on the side of the Romans, 
— destroyed the last hope of the allies. The Fabian and the Decian name 
appear in this war also, allied with almost every heroic deed. 

Soon afterwards Pontius, the general of the Samnites, fell into the hands 
of the Romans. Whether it was the victor of Pandi himself or his son, it 
was in any case a base proceeding, and unworthy of the Roman people, to 
carry him in chains to Rome, and to put him to death there in prison. In 
vain did the sacred legion of the Samnites, who had sworn to choose death 
rather than flight, once more try their strength and their, until then, ever 
victorious swords against the Romans. Curius Dentatus, who preferred rather 1 
to rule over kingdoms than to acquire wealth, inflicted on them a second ! 
crushing blow in the year 290 — a terrible defeat, in which the corpses of the 
Samnite youth, the pride of the nation, strewed the battle-field. Then the 
Samnites and their allies, the Umbrians, Etruscans, and Senonian Gauls 
were compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome, and as allies to . 
pay military obedience to the victors. The Romans secured the peaceful • 
obedience of the subjugated countries by numerous military colonies, but 
treated the conquered people with politic moderation. 




War with Tarentum and King Pyrrhus (281-275). 

During the wars of the Samnitcs, the opulent, effeminate, and cowardly 
people of Tarentum had behaved in an equivocal manner. They had seized 
some Roman ships which had entered their harbour, put the crews to death 
or sold them into slavery, and derided a Roman ambassador who offered 
them a treaty on equable terms. So soon, therefore, as the Romans had 
become complete masters of their enemies, they turned their arms towards 
southern Italy, where some Greek colonics, such as Thurii, Croton, and Locri, 



had already concluded with them an ofifensive and defensive league. Then 
the Tarentines, feeling their weakness, appealed for assistance to Pyrrhus, king 
of Epirus, who, eager for adventure and conquest, seized this opportunity for 
fresh military glory, and set out for Italy with a motley and strangely assorted 
army. Partly by means of his splendid phalanx, partly by the employment 
of elephants, to which the Romans were unaccustomed, Pyrrhus gained the 
victory in two battles — the first near Heracleia, over the Roman general 
Lsevinus in 280, and near Asculum in 279. But the slaughter of his troops in 
both these battles was so enormous, that he is said to have called out on the 
first occasion : " With warriors like the Romans, I could conquer the whole 
world ;" and on the second : "Another such victory, and I am ruined." 

After these misfortunes, the Roman Senate appeared not disinclined to 
agree to a peace with this valiant opponent, who had pressed forward to within 
a few miles of the City of the Seven Hills, and to whom the populations and 
the Greek towns of southern Italy had surrendered ; and they would even have 


granted independence to the revolted States. But the blind Appius Claudius, 
who at the decisive moment caused himself to be led into the Senate, and 
" with his burning words breathed the undaunted energy of a powerful nature 
into the souls of the younger generation," vehemently opposed this design, 
and induced the assembly to answer, that not until after the withdrawal of the 
enemy from Italy could a peace be negotiated — a principle which was then laid 
down for the first time, but which subsequently became thoroughly established 
in Rome. The wisdom and dignified bearing of the Senate, — which the 
Thessalian orator Cineas, the ambassador of Pyrrhus, described as having 
appeared to him as " an assembly of kings," together with the civil virtue, 
lionourable dealing, and simplicity of the Roman commanders Fabricius and 
Curius Dentatus — excited the warm admiration of the chivalrous king who 
had hitherto only had experience of the degenerate Greek world, i;o less than 
did the heroic spirit, bravery, and martial prowess of the legions. 



Character and Deeds of Pyrrhus, King of Ermus. 

SOMETIMES a ruler, sometimes a 
fugitive, this prince was remarkable 
for his exploits and the vicissitudes of 
his fortunes, even at that period, rich as 
it was in changeful turns and warlike 
events. Half hero, half adventurer, he 
dazzled and charmed by his chivalrous 
bearing, his magnificent presence, his 
personal qualities, his powerful character, 
and his virtue and purity of manners, 
all who came in contact with him. He 
was admired and loved both by his 
contemporaries and by posterity. An 
honourable soldier and general, a born 
ruler, indefatigable as a military hero, 
wherever his eventful life led him, Pyr- 
rhus always took a prominent position 
among his comrades in arms and the 
partakers of his fortunes, and had gained 
in full and equal measure the confidence 
of men, the favour of women, and the 
love of the people. 

Connected hi various ways, by birth and alliances, with the Alexandrian 
ruling family, desired by the Macedonian people as their king, loved by his 
warlike followers of Epirus with enthusiastic devotion, sought as a commander 
and chief by the numerous troops of mercenaries and adventurers of that 
deeply agitated period, Pyrrhus seemed, more than any of his contem- 
poraries, to be the man appointed to play in the civilized countries of the 
West the part which his great kinsman some decades earlier had performed 
so gloriously in the Eastern world. And in truth, since the time of the mighty 
Alexander, no one had come forth who could be deemed more worthy and 
capable of sustaining such a part than Pyrrhus, king of Epirus ; who in bravery, 
chivalrous feeling, and spirit, as well as in the purity of his character, stood 
far above all his contemporaries. But he possessed only the art of conquest, 
not the faculty of order and organization ; he strove more for the renown of a 
winner of battles, than for that of a deliberate and actual conqueror. While 
he kept his gaze fixed on what was distant, bold, and adventurous, he 
overlooked the advantage that obviously offered itself, and neglected the 
favourable moment ; with careless unconcern, he allowed the conquests 
acquired with much labour to melt away unused, because he was conscious of 
he power in himself to win back at any time what he had lost. And thus it v 
came about that all his creations disappeared like brilliant soap-bubbles after 
glittering for a short time, while Alexander succeeded in founding a magnifi- 
cent kingdom. 

Pyrrhus soon lost all hope of a successful issue of the war with Rome. He 
longed for an opportunity that would enable him to quit the Italian territory 
with honour. He therefore joyfully, in the year 2"]^, responded to the appeal 
of the Syracusans, who implored him to protect the liberty of the Hellenic 
towns in Sicily against the Carthaginians. In his aspiring imagination he 
already saw himself the ruler of a Greek kingdom of the West, which should 



have the chief centres of its strength in Tarentum and Syracuse. But his plan 
of seizing the beautiful island failed utterly in the execution ; and when, after 
a three years' sojourn, he returned again to Tarentum, the pinions of " the 
eagle" were broken. War and disease had thinned the ranks of his soldiers ; 
luxury and the habit of plunder had undermined their once perfect discipline ; 
and intercourse and intermingling with the Italians had destroyed their 
patriotic pride. Not long afterwards the hardy and vigorous Romans, under 
the warlike Curius Dentatus, — who had on one occasion, by a proposal to 
divide some land among the Plebeians, obtained the favour of the popular 
community, — inflicted upon him so dire a defeat, near Maleventum (which was 
thenceforward called Beneventum), in 275, that he found himself compelled to 
make a hasty retreat. His restless nature prompted him soon afterwards to 
undertake an adventurous expedition into the Peloponnesus, from which he 
never returned. 

In 272, the same year in which Pyrrhus was struck down from his horse by 
a blow from a stone, in the thick of the battle before Argos, and was killed 
there and then by the enemy's general, Tarentum became tributary to the 
Romans, and was compelled to sacrifice its walls, its weapons, and its ships 
of war. 





Ro:me the Mistress of Italy. 


*HE subjugation of the Lucanians, Apulians, and 
Bruttians, in the following year, strengthened 
the supremacy of Rome in southern Italy. The con- 
quest of Rhegium in 270, which had been held in 
possession for ten years by a mutinous legion from 
Campania, after the murder of the male population 
by the soldiers, formed the conclusion of the contest. 
Those among the community of robbers who escaped 
the sword of the victors, were scourged in the public 
market-place in Rome, and then beheaded. From that 
'ime the wealth, power, and prosperity of the Greek States of that district, 
/hich had been severely tried by both sides during the war, were gone for ever. 
The descendants of the Hellenic citizens of Posidonia met together quietly one 
ay in every year, to remember with tears the old customs, language, and 
constitution of their lost home. The conquered populations were obliged to 
ecognisc the sovereignty of Rome, partly as allies, partly as subjects ; and 


the depopulated towns were more firmly joined to Rome by the settlement 
there of Roman colonists, to whom the other inhabitants were made sub- 
ordinate. They lost the right of independent warfare and of making treaties 
on their own account with other countries ; and the ships the Romans had 
captured placed that conquering people in a position to undertake a war with 
the commercial Carthaginians, who, in spite of the treaty they had made with 
Rome against Pyrrhus, had behaved in an equivocal and faithless manner 
during the war. 

At this time, when all Italy, from the Rubicon to the Straits of Messina, had 
become subject to the Romans, Ptolemaeus Philadelphus of Egypt sought, by 
means of a brilliant embassy, the friendship and alliance of Rome — a request 
which was readily granted. From this period Rome entered on that wider 
sphere of political activity, which, in connection with the Punic nation and the 
Alexandrian ruling houses, extended its might and influence from the Pillars 
of Hercules on the west, far eastward beyond the distant Indus. 

This was the loftiest period of the Republic. Austere virtue, strict morals, 
and simplicity of life kept the great nation from the snares of wealth and 
luxury. Curius and Fabricius, like Aristides in former times, died so poor 
that the State had to undertake the duty of portioning their daughters ; and 
the expense of the funeral celebration of the great Fabius Maximus was 
necessarily defrayed by the contributions of his friends. Virtue and nobility 
of soul alone procured respect and consideration ; Patricians and Plebeians 
vied with each other in heroic courage and martial glory. Class prejudice 
had yielded to the spirit of patriotism. Fabricius neither allowed himself 
to be lured from the straight path of honour by the gold of Pyrrhus, nor to 
be terrified by the sudden appearance of a great elephant, which had been 
concealed by a curtain. 

But with the extension of Roman territory the popular assemblies gradually 
lost the ground that belonged to them of right, and the power of the State 
became more and more concentrated in the Senate; "and the strict verdict 
of history cannot but acknowledge," says Mommsen, "that this body early 
comprehended its great task and worthily fulfilled it. Appointed, not by 
the mere accident of birth, but by the free choice of the nation, confirmed 
-every five years by the severe censorial inspection of the most venerable men ; 
holding office for life, and not dependent on the expiration of the term of the 
mandate or the vacillating opinion and suffrage of the people ; united and 
acting thoroughly in union, from the time when the classes were made equal ; 
including in itself all that the people possessed in the way of political intelli- 
gence and practical knowledge of State business ; possessing unrestricted 
authority of action in all financial questions and in the conduct of foreign 
policy ; completely ruling the executive, whose officers held their positions 
only for a short time, while the power of intervention possessed by the 
Tribunes had also been exerted on its side, when once the quarrel between 
the classes was over ; by virtue of all these things, the Roman Senate was the 
noblest expression of the national will ; and in its constancy of policy and 
wisdom, in unity and patriotism, in fulness of power and steadfast courage, 
it was the first political corporate body of any period, — 'an assembly of 
kings' who knew how to unite despotic energy with republican devotion. 
Never was a State better represented in its foreign relations than Rome in her 
prosperous period, by her Senate. By its means the Roman people were 
enabled to accomplish the most gigantic of all human tasks — a wise and 
successful self-government." 



The Carthaginians in Africa. — Their 
System ok Government. — Their Com- 
merce. — The Carthaginians in Sicily. 
— Syracuse. — Agathocles the Ty- 
rant. — The Mamertines and the 
Romans. — The First Punic War, b.c. 
246-241. — Roman Intervention. — 
Hiero. — Invasion of Sicily. — Duilius. 
— Attilius Regulus. — XANTHirpus the 
Spartan. — Vicissitudes and Dangers. 
— Roman Losses, and Subsequent Suc- 
cesses IN Sicily. — The Island Con- 
verted into a Roman Province. — The 
Carthaginians in Spain. — Successes 
OF Hamilcar Barcas.— Hannibal the 
Hero of the Carthaginians. 

IN the ninth century before our era, Phcenician 
or Punic settlers from the north coast of 
Africa founded, on a rocky eminence at the 
back of the spacious bay that afforded two 
401 D D 



harbours, the trading town of Carthage, which through the activity and 
the calculating shrewdness, often combined with deceit and cunning, of its 
inhabitants — whence the expression " Punic faith " — attained to great power 
and a high degree of prosperity. After having made tributary the neigh- 
bouring African populations, this city compelled the remaining Phoenician 
colonies, Ettica, Hippo, Leptis, and others to submit to an oppressive con- 
federacy under the supremacy of Carthage, and in time brought the 
foreign colonies of the Tyrians in the south of Spain and on most of the 
islands of the Mediterranean under its rule. Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, the 
Balearic Isles, Malta, and others, were thus brought to obedience, and new 
settlements were established. But these colonies were not, like those of the 
Greeks, centres of civilization ; they only served for trade and the acquisition 
of riches by wealthy merchants, who obtained immense profits from the 
manufactories and mines, and gathered golden harvests from the possession 
of the soil. These wealthy traders filled the lucrative posts in the colonial 
towns, and compelled their dependants to take service in the army and the 
fleet. Even the Libyan tribes of herdsmen and peasants, on whom they 
forced their language and their customs, were not raised by them out of the 
condition of wild and uncivilized hordes. Under compulsion, and with ran- 
corous hatred in their hearts, the " Libyan-Phoenicians " served in the Cartha- 
ginian armies ; and the Punic ships were manned with Libyan slaves and 
rowers. The splendid cultivation of the luxuriant and fruitful region around 
Carthage, that bloomed like a garden, and the magnificent country-houses on 
the heights covered with olive and orange groves, bore witness to the wealth 
obtained by successful trade and profitable husbandry ; but the character of 
the Carthaginians remained rude and cruel, and their tendency was always 
towards the gloomy side of life. 

Their system of government was aristocratic. A small council chosen from 
the landowning hereditary nobility, and a large assembly selected from the 
class ennobled by wealth, with two Suffetes, similar in authority to the Spartan j 
kings, at the head, possessed the legislative power, and administered the law, | 
military affairs, and the government, while only extraordinary cases were laid 
before the popular assembly. The generals, also, Avho commanded the army 
with unlimited power and unbounded official authority, belonged to the noble 
families, as did also the influential Council of the Hundred, which super- 
intended the State, and could call the generals and officers to account. This| 
aristocratic exclusiveness impeded the development of a free citizen and| 
middle class, and produced among the masses discontent, sluggish indifference,; 
and venal sentiments. Between the ruling class of the great merchants,; 
the landed proprietors and possessors of plantations, and high officials of[ 
the Government, and the unpropertied mass of the people who lived from: 
hand to mouth, there yawned a wide chasm, which at last proved the abyss! 
into which both Government and people sank to their ruin. The public 
revenues were inexhaustible, so that Polybius called Carthage the richest city 
in the world ; and a magnificent system of banking and finance, such as existed 
nowhere else, was developed there. The military resources were very great, 
and the war-fleet and naval force surpassed that of all other nations ; but the 
bad social system and the debased inclinations of the prominent citizens, 
whose whole aim was directed towards worldly advantage and enjoyment, 
and the acquisition of property, undermined the foundations of the common- 
wealth. Science and art were only so far cultivated as they brought material 
profit ; of the higher intellectual life the Carthaginians had no idea. Theii 




' i'ii"'''"i''''.'''i'nMiii'','"'f 


Isystem of religion, founded on the worship of the stars, and especially their 
;adoration of the fire-god Moloch, with the terrible sacrifices offered to that 
■deity, bore witness to the dark and cruel character of the Phoenicians and to 
itheir gloomy views of the world and of human existence. 



The Carthaginians in Sicily. — Syracuse. 


THE Carthaginians had for centuries 
maintained a firm footing in Sicily, 
and had there contested with the Syracusans 
the supremacy of the island and of the Greek 
colonies. At the time of the Persian wars 
they experienced a great defeat from the 
Syracusan tyrant Gelon, in the year 480 ; ! 
but the dissensions among the Greek com- 
munities, whose strength was wasted by 
themselves in internal conflicts, brought them 1 
again to the favourably situated island. Ap-I 
pealed to for help from Segesta, Hannibal, 
the son of Gisko, crossed the Mediterranean, 
took Selinus, Himera, and the wealthy mag- 
nificent Agrigentum by storm, and carried 
off numerous prisoners and an enormous 
booty to his native town (408-406). The , 
dismay caused by these misfortunes gave an 
opportunity to Dionysius the elder, the son 
of a poor mule-driver, a young courageous 
warrior, to obtain the sole sovereignty over 
Syracuse, which dignity he held from 406 to 367 ; but having more regard to 
the strengthening of his power than to the conquest and expulsion of the 
enemy, the treacherous, dissipated prince purchased peace from the Cartha- 
ginians by the surrender of Selinus, Agrigentum and other Greek towns on 
the north coast, and then gave himself up to licentiousness and to all the 
caprices of his vindictive, suspicious, and tyrannical nature. Under his son 
and successor the Carthaginians extended their possessions still farther, and 
already directed their gaze towards the capital, Syracuse, which was torn by 
the rage of party strife. The Syracusans then sought the aid of the 
metropolis, Corinth. The Corinthians despatched to them the honourable 
Timoleon, a brave, warlike man, a friend to liberty, who had been cursed by 
his mother on account of the share he had taken in the murder of his 
tyrannical brother, and who thirsted for action to soothe the turmoil of his 
soul. Timoleon compelled Dionysius the younger, who reigned from 367 
to 344, to surrender the city of Syracuse, and to end his life in obscurity at 
Corinth ; and after he had broken the fetters of tyranny in Syracuse, he 
likewise set bounds to the rapacity of the Carthaginians, while he compelled 
them, after the victorious battle on the Krimesos in 340, to content themselves 
with the part of the country west of the Lykos (Haly Kos) ; but under the 
bold tyrant Agathocles who ruled from 317 to 289, and who had risen from 
the lowly position of a potter to the government of Syracuse, the war was 
carried on with such vicissitudes of fortune, that at one and the same time 
Syracuse was besieged by the Carthaginians and Carthage by the army of 

Whilst the siege was being negligently carried on by the Carthaginians, 
who had been summoned to the combat by the enemies of the tyrant, 
Agathocles espied a favourable opportunity, and sailed from Syracuse 
through the of the enemy's ships towards the north coast of Africa. 
Here, after landing, he caused his fleet to be burnt, that his warriors might 



only have the choice between victory and death ; and then in a short time, by 
his resolution and bravery, obtained the mastery over the whole of the Punic 
territory with the exception of the capital, while the Carthaginian general 


M ':'iiii-i!'i|!iij:'iii|t{;^ 

V.v • 

\ '''i|;f|V 

familcar was defeated before Syracuse, and died a violent death as a 

pisoner. Thereupon Agathocles, with alluring promises, summoned the gover- 

)r, Ophelas of Cyrene, to his assistance. Ophelas responded to the appeal , 

lit under the pretence that he was meditating treachery, he was surprised 



and slain in battle by the cunning Syracusan in 307 ; and his soldiers, to the 
number of 20,000 men, were compelled to take service under Agathocles, 
who, in the proud consciousness of his power and the hope of soon becoming 
master of all North Africa, assumed the title of king in 306. 

Agathocles the Tyrant. — The Mamertines. 

Soon, however, there came a change of fortune. Defeated in a battle by the 
Carthaginians, he escaped secretly to Sicily, to maintain the sovereignty of 
Syracuse, and abandoned his troops in a foreign land. Enraged at this faith- 
lessness, the soldiers put to death his two sons, who had been left behind, 
and then entered the service of the Carthaginians. With murder and with 
savage cruelty, Agathocles now once more established his supremacy in 
Syracuse, and extended it over the greater part of the island, until a poison 
administered to him by his own grandson consumed his bodily vigour to such 
an extent, that the grey-headed tyrant consented to his own death by 
burning, in 289. After the death of the bold adventurer, the whole island 
was a prey to wild lawlessness and confusion. The Campanian mercenaries, 
called Mamertines, took possession, on their homeward journey, of the town of 
Messina, in 282, murdered or drove out the male population, and divided 
their property, as well as the women and children, among themselves. They 
then carried on pillaging expeditions far and wide, and spread consternation 
and dismay throughout the island ; a state of things which the Carthaginians 
endeavoured to turn to their own advantage. Pyrrhus was at length called to 
the assistance of the Syracusans against both parties. He besieged Lilybseum, 
and made preparations for a landing in Africa ; but when he was found to be 
prosecuting a design of seizing the island, when he injured the constitution 
of the community and oppressed the citizens with extortion and unjust judg- 
ment, the Sicilian Greeks compelled him, in 276, to a hasty retreat. Upon his 
departure Sicily became plunged into worse confusion than ever, for the 
Mamertines carried on their devastations openly throughout the country, • 
and deposited their plunder in safety behind the walls of Messina. The 
Syracusans then chose the brave, high-spirited, and humane Hiero, a descen- 
dant of Gelon, to be their commander in 274 ; and afterwards, in the year 270, 
they chose him for their king. He advanced with a mixed army of citizens 
and recruits against the Mamertines, conquered them in the field of battle 
and besieged them so hotly in their town of Messina, that they were com- 
pelled to look about for foreign help. Some desired a league with the 
Carthaginians, who, out of envy of Hiero and the Syracusans, had offeree 
their assistance, and had taken possession of the citadel of Messina by meanf 
of their general Hanno; the majority, however, called for the aid of the 



Roman Intervention. — Hiero. — Attilius Regulus.— Xanthippus. 

THE fertility and beauty of the neighbour- 
ing island was so alluring to the Romans, 
that, after some resistance on the part of the 
more honourable among the citizens, they ul- 
timately complied with the request of the 
rapacious Mamertines for an alliance, although 
they plainly perceived that the envious Cartha- 
ginians, who were already in possession of the 
citadel of Messina, would certainly endeavour 
with all their might to avert the threatened 
advance of the Roman power ; and though to 
many it appeared a rash and unwarrantable 
step, to give up the former continental policy 
through which their ancestors had founded the 
greatness of Rome, and to enter upon a new 
course of proceeding whose issue no one could 
foresee. " It was one of those moments in 
Avhich calculation ceases, and when reliance on 
their own fortunate star and faith in the star 
of the country can alone give a community 
courage to grasp the hand which beckons from 
out of the darkness of the future." The Senate, 
unwilling to make so important a decision on 
its own authority, brought the matter before the popular assembly ; and 
when that body had acquiesced in the scheme, the not very honourable treaty 
was at length concluded with the Mamertines, and the Consul Appius 
Claudius Caudex, in 264, crossed the Straits of Messina in the darkness of 

The Roman auxiliary army in a very short time succeeded in driving the 
enemy, who were divided among themselves, from the walls of the beleaguered 
town ; Hicro was prevailed upon to join in a league with Rome ; and the 
Carthaginians, who crucified their commander Hanno because he had allowed 
the^ citadel of Messina to be taken from him, were driven from their second 
military city, Agrigentum, in 262, after a bloody battle in which both sides 





sustained great losses. But the conquests which the Romans, with Hiero's 
assistance, made on land during the following years, would not compensate 
for the injury done by the war to the trade of the allies and for the losses 
they suffered at sea, if the Romans did not succeed in opposing the Cartha- 
ginian naval force, for which their triremes were no adequate match, with a 
corresponding fleet, and in wresting from the enemy the sovereignty of the 
sea. However reluctant they had felt in former times to trust their lives to 
the faithless element, " on which their sturdy heroism did not compensate for 
want of skill and dexterity," an extended sovereignty was not to be obtained 
without supremacy by sea as well as by land. Accordingly they caused ships 
of war to be constructed on the model of a wrecked Punic quinquireme which 
fell into their hands, and finished it with a grappling or boarding bridge pro- 
tected on both sides, by means of which the enemy's vessels might be held 
fast, and the battle made to resemble a fight on land. By this means the 
Consul Caius Duilius, in 260, won the first sea-fight near Mylae not far from 
the Lipari Islands, and obtained the honour of having a column adorned with 
ships' prows {cohimna rostratd) erected to him in his native town. A second 
battle at sea, near the Tyndarean promontory, in the year 257, resulted in 
victory to neither side. The Romans then determined to bring the war to a 
speedy conclusion by a bold expedition to Africa. After the great victory 
on the heights of Eknomos, in 256, they put boldly out to sea, and, with a 
strong fleet of three hundred sail and a large army, passed over into Africa 
under the brave Consul Attilius Regulus. From the sea-port town of Clupea, 
where the army landed unhindered, Regulus advanced along the coast, con- 
quering and devastating, assisted in his course by the revolted towns and 
populations of Numidia, and approached the gates of the terror-stricken capital. 
The Carthaginians sued for peace ; but when the proud conqueror made the 
hard stipulation, that they should not only evacuate Sicily and Sardinia, but 
also enter into a league of dependence with Rome, and engage to augment 
the Roman fleet with their ships in future wars, they took courage, and pre- 
pared to meet the invaders with a desperate resistance. The danger of the 
situation called forth all their energies. They strengthened their troops with 
excellent Numidian horsemen and Greek mercenaries, and entrusted to a 
practised general, Xanthippus the Spartan, the direction of the war of defence. 
Near the sea-port of Tunis, in 255, Xanthippus defeated the Romans so com- 
pletely that only two thousand men of their magnificent army escaped ; the 
rest were either slain or were carried off with the Consul into captivity. But 
for the successful battle by the Hermaean promontory, all the fruits of their 
former efforts would have been lost to the Romans. 




Vicissitudes and Dangers. — Roman Successes in Sicily. 

ERCILESS in their terrible severity, the Carthaginians 
heavily punished the revolted communities. They im- 
posed on them a heavy penalty in money and oxen ; 
and the number of Numidian chiefs and governors who 
were sentenced to endure the horrible death of cruci- 
fixion, is estimated at three thousand. 

The blow that had thus fallen on Rome was followed 
by a succession of disasters. Two fleets were lost 
through storms, so that the Romans were obliged to give up the war by 
sea for some years ; on land they only attempted desultory fighting, from 
fear of the elephants, that had decided the issue of the battle at Tunis, 
and of which animals they themselves had not yet made use in warfare. 
Not until, under the command of Caecilius Metellus, in 251, they had con- 
quered the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal in a sally from Panormus 
(which they had taken after the loss of Agrigentum), when they captured 
many elephants, did they regain their old courage and confidence. It was 
probably about this time that the Carthaginians sent Regulus to Rome 
' to obtain an exchange of prisoners ; and when he dissuaded the Senate 
from this, and, faithful to his oath, returned to prison, he was put to death 
in the most cruel manner. The Romans made preparations for besieg- 
ing the well-defended military cities of Lilyba^um and Drepanum ; but 
their attempts upon these impregnable sea-fortresses were frustrated. And 
when the unskilful Consul Appius Claudius, in spite of unfavourable auspices, 
at an unseasonable moment changed the plan of operations, he was beaten 
before Drepanum, both by sea and land, in 249. It was the severest stroke 
that had fallen upon Rome since the battle with the Gauls on the Allia ; and 
as the vanquished Consul, even after the defeat, made a presumptuous display 


of the Claudian family pride, he was sentenced to pay a fine. Soon afterwards 
he died, probably in exile. 

With small battles and insignificant undertakings the war dragged inglori- 
ously on for a time, until the noble Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barcas, 
the head of the democratic or Barcine party, brought new life into the rugged 
game of warfare. After he had seized the fortress of Eryx, and procured for 
his band of mercenaries, who had grown more formidable by the discipline he 
introduced, a safe place of refuge where they could be provided with all neces- 
saries from Drepanum, and could establish themselves in a permanent manner, 
he watched from a rocky eminence all the movements of the Romans, roamed 
through the flat country, and undertook pillaging expeditions to southern 
Italy, careless of the Roman forces who surrounded him encamped on the 
plains. This was only possible so long as Hamilcar kept open the communis 
cation with Drepanum, and no Roman fleet stopped the supplies by sea. But 
as soon as Rome, in consequence of a great patriotic impulse, had once more 
equipped a fleet of two hundred ships by private contributions and by money 
raised by the saleof property belonging to the temples,andthe Consul, Luctatius 
Catulus, had overcome the enemy's squadrons and freight ships, either sinking 
or capturing them, the Carthaginians were compelled hurriedly to conclude 
a peace, in which they renounced all claim to Sicily and the small islands 
surrounding it, and consented to pay a large sum of money as an indemnity 
to the Romans for the expenses of the war. And now the unconquered 
general of a vanquished nation descended from the mountains he had 
defended so long, and surrendered to the new masters of the island the 
fortresses which the Phoenicians had held in uninterrupted possession for at 
least four hundred years, and against whose walls " all the storms of the 
Hellenic might had raged in vain." From that time there existed in 
Carthage a moderate peace party, under the leadership of Hanno the Great, 
hostile to the national or Barcine party. 

Sicily the First Province of Rome. 

Sicily, " Italy's granary," was the first Roman "province/' that is to say, the 
first great possession ruled with reference to its power of contributing to the 
finances of the sState A country converted Into a Roman province received 
from the victorious general a special constitution, — the power of ratifying the 
system being, however, reserved by the Senate, — and was then governed by a 
Propraetor or Proconsul, with a Legate and Quaestor. At first the governors 
were specially appointed to the post ; but later, the Praetors and Consuls who 
were retiring from office drew lots for the governorship, which was usually 
held for one year To these Proconsuls and Propraetors also belonged the 
executive power, the administration of justice and of military affairs in the 
provinces. The administration of justice, in connection with the civil affairs 
of the inhabitants among themselves, was carried on according to the national 
law of the separate peoples; but all questions which concerned the government 
and international right, were decided according to Roman law and in the 
Latin language, which was consequently a source of culture for distant 
barbarian countries, but also of oppression and overreaching. The revenues 
obtained by the Romans from the provinces were of various kinds. Besides 
the farm property which the Government let out to various farming com- 
panies, they also levied ground rents and personal taxes in money or tithes, 
herd-money from the public pastures, taxes on mines and salt works, 



harbour and land tolls, etc. The taxes were not, however, raised in a direct 
manner, but were farmed out ; and the indirect method of collection made 
them all the more oppressive. Subjects in the districts or provinces lost 
their military rights, and did not serve in the Roman army ; and in fortified 
places Roman garrisons were stationed. The different towns, however, were 
variously treated in matters of taxation and with regard to their legal rights 
and privileges, according to their attitude and behaviour during the war — a 
method of procedure which stifled all national feeling, and gave rise to con- 
tinual envy and rivalries. 





The Gallic War.— Military Colonies. 

While the Carthaginians, after the peace with Rome, had during three years, 
from 240 to 237, to v/age a war of extermination with their rebellious troops, 
whose stipulated pay they wished to curtail, — a war which spread through 
the whole land, already driven to despair by Punic cruelty and severity, and 
which brought the commonwealth to the brink of destruction, until it at last 
reached its bloody and horrible end through Hamilcar's martial skill, — the 
Romans brought the conquered and revolted portions of Sicily under their 
system of government ; took possession, in 239, of the island of Sardinia, that 
belonged to the Carthaginians, where the rebellious garrison troops, hard 
pressed by the Carthaginians and the warlike inhabitants, appealed to Roman 
help; and united the island, with that of Corsica, — which they also conquered by 
means of sanguinary combats with the half-savage inhabitants, — into a second 
" Roman province," in 237. 

But excluded from Grasco-Roman civilization, the two islands brought the 



Romans no other advantage than slaves taken prisoners in war. From the 
piratical Illyrians, who ravaged the coasts of the Ionian and Adriatic seas 
in their predatory expeditions, destroyed trade and commerce, and had even 
captured some Roman ships and killed an ambassador, they rescued the 
island of Corcyra, with the towns of Epidamnus, or Dyrrachium, and 
Apollonia, in 229, and put a stop to their piratical offences. The strong town 
of Aquileia, founded a score or two years later in the north-east corner of 
Italy, prevented for ever the recurrence of the lawless system of depredation. 
The second closing of the temple of Janus, which occurred about this time, 
and which was symbolical of a general peace, — the first closing of the temple 
had taken place under Numa, and the third and last was in the reign of 
Augustus, — can only have been of short duration ; for already in the year 226 
the whole strength of Rome was engaged in a terrible war with the Cisalpine 
Gauls, who, angry at the establishment of new military colonies in the 
Picenian and Gallic territory on the Adriatic Sea, and at the Flaminian 
divisions of land there, desired to impose limits on the advance of Rome — and 
with this object, had summoned their Celtic allies from the Alps and the 
upper Rhone valley, the Gaesatae, to their assistance. Already the terrible 
enemy, carrying fire and devastation in his train, and everywhere subduing 
the hostile troops, stood before Clusium, when the Romans, at the head of 
the terrified Italian populations, advanced to meet them, and near Telamon 
on the Etrurian coast, not far from the mouth of the Ombrone, in the year 
225, inflicted such a defeat on the brave but badly armed Gauls, that 40,000 
of the barbarians strewed the field of battle, and 10,000 fell as prisoners of 
war into the hands of the conquerors. The Romans then crossed the Po, 
and under the Consul Flaminius, the leader of the popular party, whose favour 
he had gained by his land-law, reduced the Insubrians, the most powerful 
Gallic tribe, to submission in 223. A second victory, which Marcellus won 
shortly afterwards near Clastidium, on the river Po, in 222, when Viridomar, 
king of the Gaesatae, was slain by the Romans, brought the whole of northern 
Italy, with Mediolanum (Milan), the capital of the Insubrians, under the 
power of the Romans — who thus ruled over Italy as far as her natural 
boundaries, the Alps, and endeavoured to secure their newly won possessions 
by military colonies at Placentia, Cremona, and other places. 

The fruitful districts on both sides the riv^er were now first included in the 
Italian armed confederacy ; and by means of military roads, the Flaminian 
and iEmilian ways, they were placed in communication with the capital ; but: 
subsequently they were converted into a Roman province, under the name of 
Gallia Cisalpina. 



The Carthaginians in Spain. — Hamilcar's Successes.— Hannibal, 

THE Great Soldier of Carthage. 

HILE the Carthaginians, under the influence of 
the powerful Barcide party, contrived to indemnify 
themselves in southern Spain, a region rich in 
metals, for the losses they had suffered in Italy, 
the possession of Gades (Cadiz) and other favour- 
ably situated points on the coast, facilitated for 
them the conquest of the country. The old in- 
habitants of the peninsula, both the Celtiberians 
and Lusitanians in the central and western dis- 
tricts and the Cantabrians and Basques in northern 
Spain, could not resist the Punic forces and the 
strategical skill of the Carthaginian commander, 
in spite of all their bravery and their skill in desultory warfare ; and their 
difficulties were increased by their distractions and dissensions, and by the 
jealousies among the tribes. 

In the manly and strong-souled Hamilcar Barcas and his three sons, 
" the lion's brood," whom he brought up in the camp, as the " inheritors of 
his designs, his genius, and his hatred," the national war party among the 
Carthaginians had capable and enterprising leaders. Hamilcar's conquests 
on the Baetis, the modern Guadalquivir, and on the Anas, the Guadiana, were 
further extended by his son-in-law and successor Hasdrubal ; and New 
Carthage (Carthagena), a splendid military centre with a good harbour and 
the magnificent royal " citadel " of Hasdrubal, was established. Through the 
military talent of Hamilcar, who, in the prime of life, died fighting bravely 
on the battle-field in 228, and through the statesmanlike skill of Hasdrubal, 
a Carthaginian kingdom was founded in Spain, which included the most 
beautiful districts on the south and east coasts of the peninsula, and was rich 
and prosperous through agriculture, mining, and commerce. This awakened 
the fear and envy of the Romans. They therefore compelled Hasdrubal to 
declare in a treaty, " that he would recognise the Iberus (the Ebro) as the 
boundary beyond which Carthage should have no right to extend her con- 
quests," and at the same time, in 226, they concluded an alliance of defence 
with the wealthy and powerful trading town of Saguntum, to the south of the 
river, which was regarded as a Greek colony of Zakynthos. Suspicion, how- 
ever, soon brought about a rupture, when, by the choice of the army, the place 
of Hasdrubal, — who had met an untimely end by assassination, — was taken in 
220 by Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, then eight-and-twenty years of age ; 
a man who united with the wisdom of his predecessor the boldness, military 
talent, and generalship of his father, and who had sworn as a boy on the 
paternal altar, eternal hatred to the Roman name. His well-knit form, 
disciplined by running, fighting, and riding, was so hardened, that he bore 
with ease all the difficulties, hardships, and privations of camp life. After 
a few successful conflicts with Spanish tribes, Hannibal made a boundary 
quarrel the pretext for besieging Saguntum, the town in alliance wath the 
Romans, and thus bringing on the war that was sure to break out sooner or 
later between Carthage and Rome. 

In vain was he warned by Roman ambassadors to desist. He referred them 
to the Carthaginian Senate ; but in the meantime pressed the town so hard, 
that in the eighth month he conquered it. Saguntum was reduced to a heap 



of ashes ; the inhabitants eitlicr buried themselves under the ruins of their 
houses, or flung themselves into the flames that destroyed their property and 
treasures, which they had collected into a heap in the market-place. Those 
v/ho remained, fell beneath the swords of the victors. 

Hannibal came forward as a true representative of his people, displaying 
terrible harshness and hardness of heart, " without any admixture of the 
humanity that existed among the Greeks, or of the honour that prevailed 


among the Romans ; " but he was a man of high statesmanlike endowments, a 
commander who united presence of mind and enthusiasm, foresight, and 
energy — a nature born to command, and one that exercised a powerful in- 
fluence over men. Cunning, and ingenious shrewdness, — the foundations of the 
Punic character, — he received as an inheritance of his nation, and displayed 
throughout his deeply eventful life. 

In the meantime the Roman ambassador had reached Carthage ; and when 
the assembly of councillors, of whom he demanded that the imperious general 
should be given up to the Romans, remained undecided, the speaker, Ouintus 
Fabius declared that he bore in his bosom both war and peace — they might 
choose which they would have ; and when they called out to him, " We will 
take what you give us," he opened his folded toga, with the words : " Here you 
have war." Thus began the memorable " Hannibal war," a mighty national 
struggle, in which the question was to be decided, "whether in Europe, the 
Grreco-Roman civilization of the West or the Phoenician-Semitic culture of 
the East should determine the process of development of the human race." 



Hannibal's Invasion.— Passage op^ the Alps. — The Battles of the 
TiciNUS, OF Trebia, and of Lake Thrasymene. — Cann/e and its 
Consequences. — Marcellus in Sicily. — Successes of the Ro- 
mans. — Hasdrubal. — Masinissa, King of Numidia, the Ally of 
the Romans. — Hannibal's return to Africa. — The End of 
the Struggle. — The Battle of Zama. — Scipio's Great Victory. 
— Supremacy of the Romans in the Mediterranean. 

Hannibal in Italy. 

IT was in the summer of the year 218, that 
Hannibal crossed the Iberus, subjugated 
the tribes between that river and the Pyrenees, 
and then, with an army consisting of Libyans 
and Spaniards, and numbering 90,000 foot 
soldiers, 12,000 horsemen, and 37 elephants, 
penetrated into Gaul, while his brother Has- 
drubal, with a mixed army and a considerable 
fleet, kept Spain in obedience. After Hannibal 
had fought his way through southern Gaul and 
over the Rhodanus, or Rhone, where a division 
of the Roman army in vain attempted to im- 
pede his progress, he commenced the ever- 
memorable journey over the Alps (by Mont 
Cenis, or more probably the Lesser St. Ber- 

Amid continuous battles with the savage 
Alpine population, the Allobroges and Centrones, the sons of burning Libya 
and sunny Spain scaled the mountain peaks covered with snow and ice, 
without path or shelter, over walls of rock and terrible abysses; a journey in 
which thousands perished through cold, exhaustion, hunger, and privations of 
every kind. On the fifteenth day, the army,— reduced to less than one half 

417 E E 



its number and with the loss of ahnost all the cattle and beasts of burden, — 
reached northern Italy. But with troops inspired by sentiments of honour 
and pride, and excited by the hope of plunder, so gifted a commander as 
Hannibal, — who had been brought up in the camp and possessed the affec- 
tion and confidence of the soldiers in a rare degree, — could venture anything 
in a country in which the inhabitants, recently subjugated by a powerful 
enemy, longed only for a favourable opportunity to shake off the hated yoke 
of the Romans, and greeted the Carthaginians as their liberators. 

So soon therefore as the brave Consul, Cornelius Scipio, had been defeated 
in a cavalry engagement on the Ticinus, in 218, and compelled, being severely 
wounded, to return to Placentia ; and when his colleague, the impetuous, in- 
judicious Sempronius, had been completely beaten, in the same year, in spite 
of the wonderful bravery of his wearied, hungry, and rain-wetted soldiers, in 
the battle he rashly offered on theTrebia; Cisalpine Gaul declared for Hanni- 
bal, and strengthened his weakened army by skilful and hardy auxiliaries. 
Of the Roman legions, who in the early morning hour had crossed the river 
Trebia fasting, in order to attack the enemy on the east bank, only a resolute 
band of 10,000 men had fought their way through to Placentia. The remainder 
had perished by the sword, or had been trampled under foot by elephants ; or, 
in endeavouring to return to the deserted camp, had met their death in the 
swollen stream. 

After a short rest in Liguria, Hannibal set out on an extremely toilsome 
march, — during which he lost one of his eyes by inflammation, — over the wild 
Apennines, and advanced by an almost impracticable road through the Arno 
valley, which was flooded by the spring rains, into Etruria. By the lake 
Thrasymene, where Hannibal's brother Mago waited with his horsemen in an 
ambuscade, the pursuing Consul Flaminius overtook the Carthagian general ; 
but suffered for his ill-considered rashness by encountering a complete defeat, 
in which he himself was slain, and his soldiers were either killed or drowned 
in the silvery waters of the lake ; this was in 217. " Without hope of victory, 
but with the defiant courage that braved death and kept them stubbornly to 
their stations, the Romans fell in thousands." An earthquake, which on the 
mighty battle day rent the ground and opened a grave for the fallen, was un- 
perceived in the heat and turmoil of the battle. Flaminius, hated by the 
aristocracy as an enlightened man of the people, was represented as the 
criminal author of the horrible misfortune, and even in death was loaded with 
heavy accusations. 

All Etruria was lost, and the way to Rome lay open to the conqueror ; but 
the defiant courage of the Latin and Italian population, who were bound to- 
gether by the common feeling of nationality, and whose courage was raised 
by the dignified demeanour of the Senate, opposed a dauntless front to the 
enemy, and prevented the Carthaginian from penetrating to the heart of the 
hostile country with his exhausted army. Repulsed before the walls of 
Spoletium, he preferred to turn his course towards Apulia, marching not far 
from the sea-coast on the east, through the districts inhabited by small 
Sabellian tribes and covered with Roman peasant-farms. His design was to 
bring about the revolt of the warlike tribes of southern Italy. 

And now there advanced to encounter the Carthaginian general a man 
who, by his foresight and wise presence of mind, caused him great difficulty 
and loss. This was the recently-appointed Dictator, Fabius Maximus, surnamed 
Cunctator, or the Loiterer, a man who was an enemy of the democratic power 
of the people, and their leaders. He avoided a battle in the open field, but 



followed the enemy's camp step by step, and took advantage of every 
unfavourable position in which his opponent was placed. In Campania he 
brought Hannibal's army into such a strait by taking possession of the moun- 
tain heights near Casilinum, that Hannibal was only able to save himself by 
a stratagem, namely by driving oxen up the mountain with burning faggots 
bound to their horns, thus awakening in the Romans the idea that they were 
threatened by a nocturnal surprise. This caution on the part of the Roman 
general, and the steadfast fidelity of the Italian and Greek allies, — who closed 
the gates of their towns against the Carthaginian, and willingly underwent 
the greatest sacrifices and hardships, — kept Rome from falling. But the mur- 
muring of the uninstructed people at the methodical, dilatory war system of 
the aged, self-willed Dictator, — who resisted the aspiring popular spirit and 
remained faithful to the traditions of the good old times, when the Senate had 
been all-powerful and the pious confidence of the people had been placed in 
sacrifice and prayer, — as well as the complaints of the allies, who had sufTered 
severely through the hostile army, caused the Plebeian Consul, Terentius Varro, 
the incapable hero of the popular party, the following year to abandon this 
cautious policy, which vv^as approved by his Patrician colleague, Paullus 
iEmilius, and once more to try the fortune of a battle. 




Cann/E and its Consequences. — Marcellus in Sicily. 

THE terrible defeat of the Romans 
at Cannse, in 216, too soon vin- 
dicated tlie judgment of Fabius and 
iEmilius. More than 40,000 foot sol- 
\-^^^ diers, 2,700 knights, and 80 men of senatorial 
rank, with the brave-hearted Paullus ^milius 
among them, lay dead upon the field of battle. 
There was not a family in which the death wail 
was not heard. The survivors were kept by the 
foe in hard captivity, without prospect of exchange 
or liberation ; and those who escaped were re- 
garded as dishonoured, and compelled to disgrace- 
ful, unpaid military service by the inexorable 
Senate ; which preserved its courage, composure, 
and undaunted bearing under this terrible blow, 
and allowed no thought to arise of making peace 
with the victorious enemy. The revolt of all 
southern Italy to Hannibal, and a league with 
Syracuse, — where about this time, the wise, peaceful, 'and art-loving Hieron 
died, and his youthful grandson, the incapable, haughty Hieronymus, suc- 
ceeded to the throne and began to rule after the old tyrannical fashion, — 
were the immediate results of this disastrous battle ; and as though Rome 
were that year to meet her fate, the legion that had been despatched to 
Gaul was entirely destroyed in an ambuscade, and its commander perished 
with it. Only in Spain the brothers Cn. and P. Scipio saved the honour 
of the Roman arms, and by conquering Hasdrubal on the Ebro, put a stop 
to the plan of uniting the whole Carthaginian force for the destruction of 
the city on the Tiber. In the Roman calendar the date of the battle of 
Cannae, the second of June, was marked out, like that of the disaster on the 
Allia, as a day of penance and prayer ; and once more human sacrifices 
were offered up in the Forum to propitiate the gods. 

After the battle Hannibal is said to have despatched to Carthage, as a 
token of his victory, three bushels of gold rings taken from the arms of the 
slain knights. Nevertheless, he did not consider it advisable with his weak- 
ened army to march immediately against Rome, as he was counselled to do 
by Maharbal, the bold leader of the cavalry. He wished first to secure- 
to himself the allies of Rome. He therefore took up his winter quarters in 
Campania and in the powerful city of Capua, where a national party, jealous 
of Rome, caused the town to revolt to Hannibal, and sealed this defection by 
the murder of all the Roman inhabitants. 

While the attractions and the luxurious customs of the wealthy and volup- 
tuous town of Capua and of the delightful Campania enervated the savage 
warriors of Hannibal, — and, through the intrigues of a jealous faction in 
Carthage, the diminished numbers of the army had not been increased by the 
despatch of necessary reinforcements, — Rome was engaged in compounding 
the quarrels between Senate and people, aristocrats and democrats, by which 
disunion the former disasters had been in a great measure brought about. 
The thanks which the Senate ofi(ered to the pitiful Consul Terentius Varro on 
his return to Rome, because " he had not despaired of the safety of the father- 



land," formed the announcement of the conclusion of peace and of the recon- 
ciliation of parties ; in consequence of which the Senate once more took the 
supreme management of the war, while the formal confirmation of measures 
only was retained by the popular assembly. Strengthened by this union and 
by the fidelity and devotion of the Italian population of the central district, 
the Romans made new preparations with unusual activity. They called to 
arms all the male population, even including boys in their ranks ; and they 
enrolled among the troops debtors, criminals, and even sla\'es. It was 
necessary to make it plain to the last citizen " that there could be no peace 
for him or for all, and that safety was to be found in victory alone." 


With the commencement of spring the Romans were able to send fresh 
troops into the field. The heroic defence of Casilinum, where a small band of 
soldiers from Praeneste and Perusia resisted hunger and the Punic arms with 
wonderful perseverance ; and two successful battles, — the first at Nola, under 
Marcellus, in 215, the second at Beneventum, in 214, where the legions of 
slaves, led by the heroic Sempronius Gracchus, won their liberty by valour in 
the fight, — raised the courage of the Romans ; and though the mighty winner 
of battles still obtained various small victories, and no one among the Roman 
generals was a match for him in the open field, they did not lose confidence 
in the deliverance of the State. " The strife was continued without a thought 



of surrender, conciliation, or peace with the enemy, as though it were a struggle 
for life with the elements, which are accessible to no human emotion. Every 
feeling was stifled, that did not stimulate perseverance, and nerve the people 
to energy. All the pleasures and joys of life were offered as a sacrifice to the 
fatherland ; all the ties of family, friendship, and companionship were dissolved 
at the call of duty ; all the thoughts, wishes, and actions of the nation tended 
to one aim, the overpowering of the enemy ; and this unanimity and perse- 
verance achieved the victory at last." 

The first thing necessary to be done, was to chastise the revolted towns. 
Marcellus sailed to Sicily and besieged Syracuse, which, — though fearfully dis- 
tracted by party strife and social disturbances after the murder of the king 
Hieronymus, and the terrible extermination of his whole house by a republican 
conspiracy, — defended itself with bravery and success under the guidance of the 
ingenious mathematician and philosopher Archimedes, so that Marcellus only 
succeeded in making himself master of the town with the greatest difficulty, 
after a three years' siege, in 212. Terrible was the vengeance of the exasper- 
ated Romans. The soldiers murdered the inhabitants and plundered the 
city. Archimedes, absorbed in his studies, was slain by a soldier whose 
summons he neglected to answer. The most beautiful works of art were carried 
away to Rome, and the splendour of Syracuse was gone for ever. Once 
more Sicily paid allegiance to the Romans, who now extended the provincial 
administration over the whole island. But prosperity, civilization, and free- 
dom had vanished under the terrible shocks of war ; the Romans themselves 
were compelled to remove the brutalized bands of plunderers, to save the 
island from complete destruction. 




Successes of the Romans. — Hasdrubal. — Masinissa, King of 
NuMiDiA, THE Ally of the Romans. 

FOR this loss Hannibal found some com- 
pensation in Tarentum and the Greek 
towns on the south-east coast, where a Cartha- 
ginian party maintained the upper hand and 
brought about a revolt from the Romans. This 
acquisition was all the more important for the 
Punic commander, as he could in consequence 
more easily maintain the alliance he had en- 
tered into with King Philip III. of Macedon. 
But when, in the year 211, the Romans with 
two legions closely surrounded and besieged 
Capua, he sought to relieve the hard-pressed 
town by a march to the gates of Rome, in 
the hope that the Romans would hasten to 
the relief of the capital, and desist from the 
siege. Great was the excitement in Rome as 
the flames of the burning villages and home- 
steads made known the approach of the 
enemy; and the exclamation of terror, "Han- 
nibal at the gates ! " never vanished from the 
remembrance of the Romans. 

All the temples were full of wailing women, who raised their hands 
imploringly to heaven ; and on their knees, with dishevelled hair, swept the 
dust from the ground. But the aim of the expedition, — the deliverance of the 
Greek town, — was not attained. A portion of the besieging army was suffi- 
cient, in conjunction with other troops, to compel Hannibal to retreat from the 
devastated territory surrounding the capital ; while to the other portion, under 
Fulvius Flaccus, the distracted Capua, — reduced to extremity by famine, — 
was compelled to surrender. Twenty-eight senators died by their own hand, 
fifty-three by the axe of the executioner ; the citizens were made slaves, and 
foreigners enriched with their property. Capua's treasures were carried off to 
Rome, all her rights were abrogated, and Roman prefects ruled with absolute 
authority in the town. Atella and other towns of Campania had a similar 
fate. Thus Hannibal's plan of overpowering Rome by her own allies failed 
entirely ; the victory which he soon after obtained near Herdonea, in Apulia, 
in 210, could not prevent the fall of the other confederate towns. In the 
following year Tarentum also fell once more into the power of the Romans. 
Fablus Maximus, " the shield of Rome," carried off 30,000 inhabitants as 
slaves and 70,000 pounds weight of gold and silver as booty ; but the statues 
of " the angry gods " he left to the humiliated Greeks. 

The conquest of Tarentum was the last warlike exploit of the old com- 
mander; he died soon afterwards in full and certain confidence of the ultimate 
victory of his native city. Terror soon brought all the revolted Italian tribes 
back under the supremacy of the Romans ; and Hannibal's position, without 
money, military supplies, or provisions, became every year more difficult. 
Hard was the fate of the reconquered country, into the depopulated towns of 
which Roman and Latin colonists entered to take possession. All Italy was 
in a lamentable condition of distress ; the farm-houses were destroyed, the 
fields lay uncultivated, prosperous villages had become camping places for 



beggars and robbers ; the Roman exchequer was exhausted, the last savings 
of the State had been expended. 

Spain was now Hannibal's only hope, as his ungrateful country had deserted 
j him. There Hasdrubal, after varying conflicts, had become master of all the 
country south of the Iberus by the defeat and death of the two brothers 
Publius and Cneius Scipio. When, however, the high-spirited P. Cornelius 
I Scipio, — then four-and-twenty years of age, great both as a general and as 
!: the friend and patron of intellectual improvement, — obtained the command 
I he applied for in the distant country, and devoted himself to the task of 
' avenging his father and his uncle, affairs took a different turn. By bravery 
j and martial skill the manly, handsome young man with the long hair and 
I imposing presence, soon conquered, in 210, the strong sea-port of New 
! Carthage and other possessions of the Carthaginians ; while by his gentleness 
ifi and kindness he won over the native chieftains, and obtained in a short time 
such respect and power by his intellectual superiority, that Hasdrubal, after 
losing a battle near Vsecula, in southern Spain, decided to respond to the call 
of his brother, and to attempt a decisive blow against Rome in Italy. There, 
about the same time, the heroic Marcellus, " the sword of Rome " was killed 
in an ambuscade of the Carthaginians near Venusia, in 208 ; and the Roman 
allies, especially the Etruscans, tired and exhausted by the disastrous war, 
became unmanageable and began to waver. By the same Alpine road along 
which Hannibal once marched, he advanced towards northern Italy; and then, 
reinforced by Gallic troops, turned out of the plains of the Po towards the 
coast of the Adriatic Sea, to join his brother, who was encamped in front of 
the Consul Caudius Nero, in Apulia. But the bold plan of the Consul, of effect- 
ing a junction with his colleague, Livius Salinator, by an expedition to Umbria, 
I and then with their united forces attacking the enemy, led to the death of the 
I brave Hasdrubal and the destruction of his army on the little river Metaurus, 
\ near the colony of Sena, in the year 207, before Hannibal had even received 
the news of his arrival ; for the Romans had intercepted all the messengers. In 
i the bleeding head of Hasdrubal, which the returning Consul hurled into the 
[ 1 enemy's camp, the humbled general saw a presage of " the terrible fate of 
I j Carthage." 

i ] In misfortune Hannibal disclosed the true greatness of his genius as a 

I i commander. Without help from abroad, without allies in Italy, he main- 

r ] tained his position for some years, with the remnant of his army, in the 

[i I neighbourhood of Croton, in the land of the Brutti, in the face of an enemy 

) j of overwhelming force. In the meantime Cornelius Scipio conquered Gades, 

'. jj the last bulwark of the Carthaginians ; and, after the subjugation of Spain was 

I i accomplished, returned, crowned with success and laden with booty, to Rome, 

I 1 where, by the favour of the people, he obtained the Consulship in 205. But his 

f adventurous spirit found no rest in the capital, where he had many powerful 

! I enemies, and where the law and constitution put great obstacles in the way of his 

.* ! advancing on his own authority; and the enthusiastic favour of the people — with 

• I whom the handsome young man had great influence, — spurred him on to new 

enterprises. " He was the star which appeared destined to bring victory and 

. peace to his country," As the cautious Senate did not favour the plan of a 

I landing and a campaign in Africa, Scipio, who had been appointed governor 

iof Sicily, opened a camp for recruits in Syracuse; and, as many free bands, and 

especially the Roman soldiers who had escaped at Cannse, and were eager to 

win back their honour, rallied round him, and many towns assisted him with 

voluntary contributions that satisfied all his requirements, he sailed from Lily- 




b^iim across the Mediterranean, A successful attempt which he undertook 
against Locri, when this influential Greek town fell into the hands of the 
Romans, and was punished for its former revolt by plundering, murder, and 
violence of all kinds, raised his self-reliance and the confidence of his adherents. 
With the help of the Numidian king, Masinissa, — who had previously fought 
In Spain on the side of Carthage, against Scipio, but changed his party when 
his hostile neighbour, the friend of the Carthaginians (Syphax of West 
Numidia), robbed him of his kingdom and his beautiful Carthaginian bride, 
Sophonisba, the daughter of Hasdrubal, and compelled him to fly into the 



desert, — the Romans, in 204, in a nocturnal attack, not far from Utica, set fire 
to the camp of the Numidians and Carthaginians, and inflicted a great defeat 
on their united enemies. 

In a second battle on the "great fields," Syphax, the faithful ally of 
Carthage, fell into the hands of the conqueror, and was sent away as a 
prisoner to Rome, where he soon after died of grief His wife Sophonisba 
hoped in vain to escape the wrath of the Romans by a hasty marriage with 
Masinissa. On a threat that she would be delivered up to the Romans, she 
resolved to drink the poisoned cup, which Masinissa himself caused to be 
presented to her. 

The End of the Struggle; Zama; Scipio's great Victory. 

AFTER these terrible disasters, the last 
. hope of Carthage rested on the armies 
in Italy, to which, therefore, an urgent mes- 
sage of recall was sent ; and however painful 
it was to the Carthaginian general, he obeyed 
the summons of his country exhorting him 
to return ; and in the autumn of 203 quitted 
the country of his fame, moved to tears of 
bitter mortification and anger. By his de- 
parture he abandoned the allied towns and 
populations of southern Italy to the ven- 
geance of the Romans. The arrival of the 
great general put an end to the peace ne- 
gotiations commenced by the Carthaginian 
government, and brought the patriotic party 
once more into greater consideration. Has- 
drubal Cisco, who had laboured to bring 
about a peace, was condemned and outlawed ; he concealed himself in the 
burial-vault of his family, and put an end to his life by poison. Hannibal's 
attempt to persuade his victorious opponent to a personal interview, that he 
might obtain more favourable conditions of peace, and, by reminding him of 
the fickleness of fortune, dispose him to moderation, was frustrated. Scipio 
would be satisfied with nothing less than unconditional surrender. Then 
Hannibal decided, in 202, to risk the decisive battle of Zama. In spite of the 
great bravery of the old warriors and the skilful dispositions of the experienced 
general, this crowning contest ended in the complete defeat of the Carthagin- 
ians. The same soldiers who, thirteen years before, had fled before Hannibal 
at Cannae, now wrought severe retribution on their former conquerors, and 
once more established their warlike renown. 

Hannibal himself now counselled peace, however hard the conditions 
might be. The Carthaginians were obliged to swear that they would not 
commence any war without the consent of the Romans, that they would give 
up Spain, surrender their ships of war, and engage to pay a high annual 
war-tax. After the burning of the Carthaginian fleet, and the granting of the 
kingdom of the two Numidias to Masinissa, "the friend and ally of the 
Roman people," Scipio, who was from that time forth called Africanus, 
returned to Rome, where, as the hero of a splendid triumph, he marched 
through the decorated streets of the capital; while Hannibal, — impeded by the 
suspicious Romans in his efforts to heal the wounds of war in his native city, 



by good regulations and suitable reforms, — was at last obliged to quit his 
home as a persecuted fugitive and exile, and to carry his burning hatred of 
the Romans to the court of the Syrian king Antiochus. 

From that time Rome possessed undisputed supremacy over the western 
territory of the Mediterranean Sea ; but a fourth part of the population of 
Italy had perished. " Therefore could the Roman, to whom the gods had 
vouchsafed to behold the termination of this gigantic war, look back with 
pride upon the past, and look forward with confidence to the future. Many 
errors had been committed, but much had been endured. '^ The entire 
subjugation and partial extermination of the Celtic inhabitants of the plains 
of the Po, — with whom, even in the last year of the " war of Hannibal," Mago 
had continued to oppose the Romans until he died of his wounds in Genoa, — 
and the conquest of the restless, turbulent, and warlike population of Spain, 
the land of rich and productive gold and silver mines, formed the conclusion 
of the great war in the West. 



Philip hi. and his schemes. — His war with Rome. — Battle of 
Cynoscephal^. — Announcement of the freedom of Greece. — 
Nabis, the freebooter King.— Demetrios, Chalcis, and Acro- 


BY M. PoRcius Cato. — Lucius Cornelius Scipio. — Battle of 
Magnesia. — Conquest of Galatia. — The Province of Asia. — 
Defeat of the ^Etolians by Fulvius Nobilior. — Hannibal 

AT the court of PrUSIAS OF BiTHYNIA. — HiS END. — DEATH OF 

Scipio Africanus and Philopcemen. 

Philip HI. of Macedonia and his Schemes. 

1A BOUT this time there ruled over Macedonia and a part of Greece King 
l\ Philip HI., a young, talented monarch, full of sense and judgment, and 
of attractive manners, but insincere, rapacious, and sensual, and, in arrogance 
and licentiousness as well as in chivalrous deeds of warfare, a true son of his 




time. The threatening proximity of the Romans in Dyrracihum and Apollonia 
had long filled him with anxiety, and had disposed him to listen to the attrac- 
tive discourse of the exiled Illyrian adventurer Demetrius of Pharus, who was 
sojourning at his court. The intelligence of the Carthaginian victories had 
induced him to conclude an offensive and defensive alliance with the renowned 
Hannibal ; but instead of vigorously supporting the Punic general, Philip 
wasted his time in fruitless battles accompanied by scenes of savage cruelty 
and rapine, and in sea-fights with the Greek islands and coast towns who had 
placed themselves under the protection of Rome, such as the Rhodians, Chians, 
yEtolians, Athenians, king Attains of Pergamum, and others. At last the 
fortunate termination of the Punic War allowed the Romans to turn their 
arms against Philip for the protection of their oppressed allies, whose terror and 
indignation he had excited by the barbarous destruction of the heroic town 
Abydos. With the assistance of the Achaean league, and other Greek States, 
the Macedonian for a long time offered a successful resistance. The storming 
and destruction of Chalcis in Eubcea, with its rich stores, Philip's most im- 
portant military town, he requited by the devastation of the region around 
Athens in 198 ; and in Macedonia itself he frustrated the attacks of his 
enemies, by his shrewdness and by judicious use of his superior knowledge of 
the country. But after a time the astute T. Ouinctius Flamininus, a scion 
of a prominent old Roman family, who was zealous for Hellenic art and 
literature, summoned the Greek States in a solemn and impressive manner 
to strike for their freedom, induced the Achaeans, after long wavering, to 
enter into a union with Rome, brought over to his side the Spartan tyrant 
Nabis, whom Philip in vain sought to win by the cession of the faithful town 
of Argos, and, as skilled in war as diplomacy, defeated the Macedonians near 
the Cynoscephalae, or Dogs' Heads not far from Pharsalus, in 197. Philip 
agreed to a peace, in which he recognised the independence of Greece, 
surrendered all foreign possessions, gave up his fleet, paid a large sum of 
money, and renounced the right of independent warfare. The vindictive 
suggestions of the national hatred of the Greeks, clamouring for the destruc- 
tion of Macedonia, met with no response from the humane conqueror, who 
felt an interest for the refined and chivalrous king. 


T. QuiNCTius Flamininus and Antiociius HI. 

Willing to flatter the vanity of the Hellenes, the astute Flamininus, on 
the occasion of the Isthmian games, proclaimed in the most ostentatious 
manner the liberation of Greece from Macedonian supremacy, and the re- 
establishment of the national laws, amid the unbounded rejoicing of the 
spectators, in the year 196. He directed the distracted government affairs 
with equity and fairness, energetically repudiating the inordinate claims of 
the ruthless Nabis. The Spartan emigrants were established in the south of 
the peninsula as " free Laconians," and were thus withdrawn from the revenge 
and tyranny of the soldier-king Nabis, whom the Romans wished to spare in 
spite of his obstinacy. For in the continued common existence of the small 
and middle-sized Hellenic States the Senate perceived the most certain security 
for the maintenance of its own power. But liberty is not a good that can 
be given by strangers ; and how, indeed, could a condition of well-ordered 
liberty have been firmly established in a nation so torn by the burning hatred 
of parties who stood arrayed in hostile fashion against each other ? 

It soon appeared, therefore, that Greece had only exchanged one ruler for 



another, and that the place of the Macedonians was now taken by the power- 
ful Romans, who, in possession of the three " fetters of the country," Demetrias, 
Chalcis, and Acrocorinth, were able to repress every national movement. Thus 
the enthusiasm for the liberators was gradually lost ; and the wild, quarrel- 
some ^tolians, who had organized a league similar to that of the Achseans, 
and were angry with the Romans because Flamininus had opposed their 
schemes for the conquest of Thessaly, and, after the fall of Nabis, had favoured 
the possession of Laconia by the Achaean league, sought to incite the Syrian 
king Antiochus III., called the Great, to make war on the menacing power. 
Antiochus was the more easily persuaded to this course as it was in accordance 
with the advice of Hannibal; and the demands made upon him by the Roman 
Senate, requiring him to surrender the Greek States of Asia Minor and to 
renounce his conquests in Thrace, had offended his pride. 

In conjunction with the yEtolians, and relying on the excitement prevailing 
in Spain and other provinces, in the year 192 he commenced the war. He 
first gained possession of the fortified town of Chalcis, and next marched 
into Eubcea. Instead, however, of immediately attacking the Romans in 
Italy, in conjunction with Philip of Macedon, as Hannibal advised, the 
" liberator " ^Yasted his time at the island of Eubcea by a splendid marriage 
ceremony with a beautiful Chalcidean lady, and in festivities and sumptuous 
banquets, in which the troops imitated the example of the prince and 
court ; and he offended the Macedonian king by ostentatiously burying the 
bleaching bones of the comrades who had fallen at Cynoscephalae ; while the 
Romans, quickly marching into Thessaly after the storming of Thermopylae, 
in 191, by M. Porcius Cato, — who had gone through a thorough military 
training in the mountainous country of Spain, and was then in the prime of 
his manhood, — defeated the Syrian king, and compelled him with the small 
remnant of his shattered army to retreat hastily into Asia Minor, But here 
also a Roman army, under L. Cornelius Scipio, — who was accompanied by his 
brother, Scipio Africanus, as his adviser, — closely pursued him by Thrace and 
over the Hellespont. And now for the first time the sons of Romulus set 
foot on the native soil of the Teucrian .^neas, from whom they derived their 





Battle of Magneslv. The Province of Asia. 


AFTER several fights by sea, near 
. Corykos, Sida, and other places, 
and especially after the brilliant vic- 
tory of the Roman-Rhodian fleet near 
the promontory of Myonnesos, a mur- 
derous battle was fought on a dismal, 
rainy day, near Magnesia, by Mount 
Sipylos in Lydia, in 190. It was 
decided against Antiochus and re- 
duced the fugitive and forsaken king 
to purchase peace by the suri-endcr 
of all his European possessions and 
all the countries of Hither Asia on 
this side the Taurus, and by the pay- 
ment of an immense sum as indemni- 
fication. The number of the slain 
in the Syrian army is said to have 
amounted to 50,000, while not more 
than 300 fell on the sideof the Romans. 
Never yet had a great power been reduced to destruction